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Reptile Youth – Reptile Youth

on October 24, 2012, 7:56am

The insanely energetic give and take between Danish duo Reptile Youth and their audiences in the video for “Speeddance” (shot on location in Copenhagen at the Roskilde and SPOT festivals) looks like the kind of mayhem reserved for something a bit more hardcore than two dudes playing an electro-pop tune with lines like, “Dance as if your hands are on fire.” Singer Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen convulses, crowdsurfs, takes off his pants, channels his inner acrobatic Eddie Vedder, and offers a rapid and descending “Do do do do do do do” sound that’s largely responsible for the overall scene: it quickens the heart’s pace.

Such live shows are the reason Reptile Youth’s self-titled debut has been so highly anticipated, and with the help of producers David M. Allen (The Cure) and Marc Ralph (Hot Chip), the duo’s exuberant sound has been captured in 10 songs the group will finally share with America (their live stateside debut went down at CMJ last week). Standout tracks include “Shooting Up Sunshine”, which sounds just as jovial as its title suggests and the more reserved “A Flash in the Forest”, which resembles the catchy jangle of Cold War Kids’ “Saint John”.

Between Kristiansen’s unmatched vocal power (at some moments, it’s Bono, and at others, it’s Matt Bellamy) and bassist’s Esben Valløe’s heart-grabbing role as the backbone of their sound, the album never slows down even when you think a slight halt might be coming (“It’s Easy to Lose Yourself”). Love (“Be My Yoko Ono”) and religion (“Dead End”) briefly flutter into the subject matter, but at its core, this is a Saturday night record.

Valløe recently said his wish is “to always be as in love with this band as I am right now.” With passion like that and a live show whose reputation precedes the band, a solid debut is just another reason for these two to dance like their hands are on fire.

Essential Tracks: ”Shooting Up Sunshine”, “A Flash in the Forest”

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