The Reptilian

Full Health

Written by: TL on 28/02/2011 13:53:43

When I was last presented with material from the Michigan-based The Reptilian, I must admit that I wasn't all too impressed with them. Since then though, while they've been reduced to a trio, I've been working as usual to expand my frames of reference, so when their third record "Full Health" came around, I didn't hesitate to sign up to review it, wanting to see if I would get more out of it this time around.

These guys' style of music is a low-fi sort of math/punk, dominated almost exclusively by inventive drum-patterns, quirky guitar-riffs and vintage emocore vocals in the veins of Rites Of Spring. Overall, the sound seems directly inspired by, and comparable to Bear Vs. Shark.

The 10" "Full Health" features seven tracks, all quirkily titled things such as "Dungeons & Drag Queens", "200% Sweater" and "Aerosmith Kids". All of them give the listener the feeling that The Reptilian couldn't be happier playing basements around the mid-west, and have no ambitions whatsoever, of abandoning their punk-rock lifestyle for a bigger audience. Hence there's no compromising of either raw production values or minimalist aesthetics.

While that probably sounds great to those who prefer their bands as pure and punk as possible, to me it sounds like an approach that will eventually reduce most bands to one-trick ponies, and indeed, "Full Health"'s soundscape doesn't seem all that varied, despite the rapid changes in rhythm and melodies. It's a shame because the band comes across as very honest and passionate, it's just very hard to share their excitement as an outsider, when the vocals are almost exclusively indecipherable, and when every song relies on such a very basic selection of sounds.

Compared to my memory of The Reptilian's last EP though, "Full Health" still strikes me as being a lot friendlier and more enjoyable. This one at least, can put you in a good mood while you leave it playing in your living room, even if I'm still hard pressed to say that it will have me remembering any particular Reptilian songs this time next week.

Download: Roman Sideburns, Aerosmith Kids
For The Fans Of: Bear Vs. Shark, Rites Of Spring, Small Brown Bike
Listen: thereptilianband.bandcamp.com

Release Date 01.10.2010
Count Your Lucky Stars

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