Young and enthused, indie-rock quartet Reptar is known for their vibrant shows and irresistibly catchy choruses. Now, with the release of their debut LP, Body Faucet, Reptar’s energy falls flat.
Reptar’s popularity is largely due to their live performances, where they supply a steady stream of disconnected theatrical surprises. In Body Faucet, these tactic seems to have betrayed them. The album offers a mass of polyrhythms and interjecting synth riffs that seem at times too exaggerated for their lyrical content. Reptar has an array of intriguing distortions and instrumental variety under their belt, but the function of each within the album is frequently unclear.
The band offer an energized rush of competing elements, many of which we’ve heard (and loved) before. Producer Ben H. Allen worked with Reptar on Body Faucet and with Animal Collective, and the shared influence is striking. Body Faucet draws heavily from Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavillion, with the peppy, optimistic zest of Vampire Weekend. But unlike compelling and at times philosophical concept behind Merriweather, Body Faucet is all sugar. The simple uppity tunes peppered with Afro-tribal drum lines and vocal undulations evoke images of afternoon backyard parties and face paint.
This is not an album that is able to fully deal with tales alluding to lost love and sexual awakening as the lyrics of tracks like “Sebastian” and “Orifice Origami” suggest. On the whole, I’m unsure as to whether Reptar is ready to deal with these topics themselves.
Body Faucet will certainly get crowds dancing, but the album certainly lacks the emotion their performances promised.
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