Reptar are a Georgia based band that have a reputation for energetic live shows, and while that certainly is nice thing to have, I haven’t had the pleasure as of yet, so this review is based solely on what I hear on the album. As it should be.
Anyone who reviews this album can’t help but make the obvious connection to Vampire Weekend. I mean, it’s right in your face. Lead singer Graham Ulicny sounds like the Vampire Weekend dude, the African-inspired rhythms are there, and they have all the abrasiveness of the behind of a new born baby. Sprinkle in a dash of Passion Pit and a little bit of Foster The People, and Reptar has all the ingredients to take over frat houses everywhere.
First song and single off the album, ‘Sebastian’, sounds as if it is an outtake off of Vampire Weekend’s debut, and depending on your view of things, you’re either reaching for the vomit bucket, or thinking you just found the next great thing. The chorus is essentially “Oh oh oh oh oh…”, so Reptar isn’t creating genius here, but the song works in a catchy way, and I can see where some of the percussion breakdowns and shout-a-longs would be good clean fun on a Friday night. Second track, ‘Please Don’t Kill Me’, includes some horns, keyboards, and Ulicny’s snotty voice turned childlike when he asks not to be killed. The downfall is the song conjures up images from bad 80’s movies during beach scenes in the Carribean. Like Lea Thompson in Casual Sex kind of bad 80’s movies.
The most accessible and surefire song on Body Faucet to induce a few pokes on the replay button is 4th track ‘Office Oragami’. It is frustratingly good in a MGMT ‘Time To Pretend’ sort of way, meaning you just can’t help liking it, even if you know that you shouldn’t because MGMT are out of style now for changing their sound. Ohh…those bastards! Here’s to the guilty pleasures that Reptar are keeping alive!
Next song, ‘Houseboat Babies’ goes for the same effect, but falls short. The question and callback chorus seems a little amateur, and certainly loses the effect the song probably has live when it is in recorded form. ‘Natural Bridge’ is an interesting song in that it pairs Reptar’s tropical sound with a 50’s doo-wop feel. One of the brightest songs on the album, and maybe where Reptar steps a little bit out of their comfort zone, is on 10th track ‘Sweet Sipping Soda’. I’m not sure I would classify it as “heavy”, but they pick up the pace a bit and Olicny’s voice discovers a bit of a growl.
All in all, I can’t say that I was neither overly pleased or disappointed in this album. Probably why I gave it the mediocre rating. I hate completely slamming bands that sound like a bunch of other bands put together. It’s not always their fault, and I can’t say with certainty that Reptar evens listens to those other bands. How the hell should I know? It doesn’t mean they didn’t make a few tunes that people are going to like on Body Faucet. There is just enough diversity to warrant repeated listens. But it does mean that when they get reviewed, nobody is going to give them credit for creativity either.