Lurid Glow is the follow-up album to Athens, Georgia band Reptar's Body Faucet and it is nothing short of a explosion of indie-dance-plastic-rock. Like the sound of Modest Mouse and Talking Heads stuck in a lift, Lurid Glow is full of nervous energy and infectious hooks.
Opener No One Will Ever Love You sets the tone, guitarist and vocalist Graham Ulicny’s yelping vocals pouring out like urgent catcalls whilst the remaining members conjure a stuttering crescendo of noise. It’s exactly what a band named after the dayglo dinosaur in Rugrats should sound like.
It is slightly later on that Lurid Glow really demonstrates what Reptar are capable of however. Cable is a jazz-funk hot-mess of a track. Ulicny’s vocals alternate between high-pitched squeals and the beast-like shouts that punctuate the end of each line of the verse in what must be the most terrifying vocal performance since Future Island’s Waiting On You. It’s the kind of track where every single second feels impossibly brilliant. The drilling brass kicks that start each off each bar, the staggered rhythms. And it has the best bridge you will ever hear - everything seemingly melting into a sunshine melody before the repeatedly shouted refrain, a plea of “I wanna be yours” that sounds genuinely desperate.
With a relatively short duration of 42-minutes, Reptar still manage to fit in some variation here. Just when you think you have them pinned down they throw in something like the soft, ballad like Amanda, a track that calls to mind the worldly maturity of Vampire Weekend. Every Chance I Get revolves around an REM-sized chorus, Ulicny doing his best to express emotion through a wall of lyrical obtusity. His urgent delivery culminating with the band almost physically hammering the point home.
Their debut met mixed reviews, but out of the albums I’ve heard so far this year, none has kept me as entertained or intrigued so much as Reptar’s Lurid Glow. It's a bit day-glo and you can rightly accuse them of taking inspiration from some of the past decade's best bands, but in Lurid Glow it feels like Reptar have hit their stride.
Lurid Glow is out now on Joyful Noise. Order from iTunes [affiliate link], stream on Spotify above and check out the video for Cable below.