Starfucker – Reptilians
The skinny: Dance with Indie. Or the other way around.
The review proper: The sound of indie bands replacing their xylophones and glockenspiels with midi and keyboards.
The first seconds of ‘Born’, the opening track of Reptilians, are deceitful. A lonely acoustic guitar droning a pacey chord progression is jarringly replaced by sequencers and strange electronic noises that sound like robots on helium ranting about their favourite Dalek, while a very constant beat keeps proceedings short (12 songs, 40 minutes).
So unfolds Reptilians, Starfucker‘s second album and their début with Polyvinyl Records (distributors of great music, candy and badges). In a nutshell? Brisk and more dance than indie.
The mood is decidedly chilled down, with some arpeggiator thrown for good measure in almost every song (a weapon of choice for Starfucker, it seems?). Another signature from the band seems to be a particular delivery of vocals that sort of gets lost in the mix, maybe like shoegazing, if you replaced the heavy reverberation with a dance beat.
‘Millions’ is pretty lively, with some very playful sounds and a peppy mood going around. ‘Bury us alive’ is another of the happier tunes offered by Starfucker, who offer foot tapping vibes track after track, hoping to get you out of a rut and maybe dance for a while. ‘Bury us alive’ certainly hit the spot.
Even if the technology is recent, there’s a very retro feeling in these ditties. ‘Mystery Cloud’ feels like a tune from the 80’s that managed to accelerate to 88 and now wonders where are all the hoverboards, with the realisation that there aren’t around in 2011 sending it into a depressing ending, which sports a very strange vocal sample about death (basically, we are manure!)
On that matter, there are a couple more random vocal samples thrown as little segues inside the songs. Hard to make what they are all about, something about “vibrations” and “spirituality”, probably the faded sounds of some 3 AM TV philosopher peddling his latest book. ‘Hungry Ghost’ does it first, with the random fella talking about reality, illusion and death then the sound evolving into a very catchy beat. No preaching left on sight after this.
The other bizarre voice sample appears in ‘Quality Time’, the album closer. The music is looped, in a creepy rising and fading cyclic manner. Once the sermon has ended, the dance seems to start. It’s a pretty uplifting song, a pleasant way to end the album, even if the preceding spiel seems to be less palatable.
Even if there seems to be a bit of a constant momentum in Reptilians, as in, it’s quite straightforward, the upbeat rhythm is good enough to draw a smile, specially on a tired face. Try dipping your toes with ‘Astoria’ and ‘Reptilians’ (my two faves) and work your way around this very dancey album, a good sophomore album by Starfucker.
And if you want to disagree with me, check the soundcloud link, the album is streaming there!