Album Reviews

Reptar – Body Faucet

on May 01, 2012, 7:58am
Reptar-Body-Faucet C-
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Pity the poor band that develops a reputation as an impressive live act. All that word-of-mouth praise that results in your next show in town always being a big deal; that should be a good thing, right? Well, sure–unless the time comes for you to finally deliver your debut album, and what emerges from the studio bears little resemblance to the vibrant, communal enthusiasm your fans have been experiencing at your shows.

Such is the case with Body Faucet, the first full-length album from Athens, GA’s Reptar. Over the past couple of years, the quartet has been delivering energetic and welcoming concert experiences that have been low on subtlety and high on percussive, pogo-ready power-pop. Those shows dish up mildly interesting musical strains that make their way to the surface–the deceptively complex, South African-inspired rhythms, the treated synths–but the signature marks of Reptar live are the glistening melodies and dead-simple chant-along choruses that manage to bring even the most hesitant crowd together.

Unfortunately, a buoyant concert experience is difficult to translate to record, and while Body Faucet should be a warm and joyous album, it’s rather dry and airless instead. Yes, Reptar still sounds like the combination of post-“Oxford Comma” poly-rhythms and ’80s synth-pop you never thought you needed to hear, but producer Ben Allen (Washed Out, Animal Collective) is unable to generate any organic electricity from those elements.

The album is most successful when Reptar gets the most direct: Cuts like the forceful Atari-funk of “Sweet Sippin’ Soda” and the dynamic New Wave rush of “New House” are Body Faucet‘s simplest numbers, but they’re also the most powerful. Even the lolling groove of “Isoprene Bath” manages to work, as Reptar cuts its rhythmic complexities with a driving and insistent chorus; sadly, its effectiveness is tempered by the track that follows it, “Orfice Origami, a hand-clap rocker that’s perfect for the stage, but sounds like rudderless mush here.

And that’s indicative of the main failing of most of the rest of Body Faucet: The band’s live energy has been muffled, while their nuances have been tamped down to the point of being inconsequential. By splitting the difference, they’ve created a work that’s neither fish nor fowl. It’s definitely enjoyable, but it’s also inconsequential.

Essential Tracks: “Sweet Sippin’ Soda” and “New House”

11 comments

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Eapoe
May 9, 2012 at 12:33 am

i hear ya on the good live band who can’t make good records, but man reptar ain’t no KISS.  one listen to ghost rider on the new one is all the proof in the pudding homeslice.  ease up, any singer with balls enough to channel carol channing rock out cock out.  yep!

Jordan
May 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

Their EP ruled. Their shows are super rad. This album is awesome! I was so stoked on it. I listen to it all the time

Uncfanatl
May 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Your review of their EP said they were trying to do too much.  Now you diss them for not doing enough.  Living proof that every jerk with a keyboard has an opinion.

Steven
May 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

Sorry If I came off as a dick, I just love this band! But I also love COS, repping you every day on my backpack, keep up the excellent work, though I’d say this is at least a 4 star album ;)

Steven
May 1, 2012 at 8:59 am

That isn’t the right album art either, get it right guys! I had confidence in you but I guess even the best fuck up sometimes…

Alex Young
May 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

Are you sure? Vagrant has it listed as the one we’re using: http://vagrant.com/artists/media/70-reptar?release_id=311-bodyfaucet

Steven
May 1, 2012 at 9:10 am

the official version I have doesn’t say Reptar and Body Faucet on it, just more of those bluish dudes, I’m being a stickler on that, I apologize, it’s a small detail

Alex Young
May 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

No worries. Appreciate the dedication! 

Steven
May 1, 2012 at 8:58 am

Submerged Shoulder Kisses?? What album are you listening to? Because that isn’t on Body Faucet…..

Alex Young
May 1, 2012 at 9:06 am

Looks like the album was tagged wrong. Track title corrected. Thanks for the heads up!

Steven
May 1, 2012 at 9:12 am

Welcome! Thanks for being so apt to correct, sorry for being a stickler, I just have already been listening to this album for a while now. <3 COS