Reptilians is Starfucker's second full-length and first with Polyvinyl.
Lyrically, the album focuses primarily on death and the end of the world, two intertwined subjects at the forefront of songwriter Josh Hodges’ mind following the passing of his grandmother. Yet, amazingly, the record manages to be not the slightest bit depressing.
In reality, it's quite the opposite -- a trait likely attributed to the fact that the band, like British philosopher Alan Watts (whose lectures are excerpted at various intervals), believes death is responsible for giving meaning to life.
For Starfucker, this comforting notion is expressed musically via vibrant crescendos, explosive drum beats, and layered synth melodies that drive a theatrical live show where dance party meets Roxy Music.
As such, Reptilians marches effortlessly from the stripped-bare psychedelia of "Born", which conjures David Byrne's ghost, to the funeral parade of "Bury Us Alive" (a track that greets death with open arms in a moment of animated celebration), to "Death as a Fetish," where the title becomes a liberating mantra sung over an immediately hummable keyboard-driven loop.
Just as with the band’s previous two releases, Reptilians was written almost entirely by principal songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Hodges.
This time around, however, the group’s sound is bolstered by the addition of Keil Corcoran (whom Hodges describes as a “human drum machine”) and producer Jacob Portrait (The Dandy Warhols, Mint Chicks).
The result is Starfucker's most well-rounded and full-sounding album to date -- a blissfully buoyant affair that will have you dancing to songs about death while having the time of your life.
If Memory Tapes and MGMT were to be parents to a child, it’d be Starfucker.
Dreamy, danceable electro-pop.
Starfucker territory exists in the wonderful space between the acoustic and electronic, between pensive and dance-worthy, and these guys inhabit that space beautifully.
Under The Radar
Reptilians is peppered with pretty synth patterns, tinkling melody lines, and happy beats.
This album could very well elevate them into the upper echelon of today’s indie ‘stars.’
Refreshingly new and immediately memorable
An expression of emotional intelligence that’s as creative as it is bold, poppy as it is substantial, and has the feeling of instant classic whilst retaining vitality of the ‘now.'
Reptilians, with its wailing guitars, catchy loops and falsetto singing borders on perfection.
...the Portland quartet's third album is its best yet.
Reptilians is electric in every sense of the word, and it would be a crime not to give it a listen.
It's the poppiest grave dance you'll hear all year.
[Starfucker] clearly demonstrate the capability to make "hits."
…a good soundtrack for a dance party.
STRFKR has created a set of danceable, positive-minded pop songs, many of which seem to have been deconstructed, stripped of their immediate urgency, yet... manage to retain their hooks