photo credit: David McClister
The Athens, GA based foursome Reptar has been described as a ‘synth-based pop’, ‘electro funk,’ and ‘experimental dance’ band. But none of these seem to do the band’s sound justice. In live festival performances, the band throws tamborines across the stage and band members dance in short jean shorts and full-body spandex suits. Their music videos feature talking lips, lazer beams and varieties of fruit. But the one element that comes through whether you’re seeing the band at a festival, watching a music video on YouTube, or catching a small live show, is energy. And last Thursday when Reptar played at the Great Scott, they brought the energy.
Only a few weeks before their debut album drops, Reptar played an even mix of favorites off of their debut EP, Oblangle Fizz Y’all, and new tracks off of Body Faucet, which drops May 1st. Where tracks off of Oblangle Fizz Y’all were heavy on the afro beats, and long instrumental interludes that end in lead singer Graham Ulicny’s lyrical outbursts, the new tracks drew from tribal beats, wood blocks and jungle sounds. Almost all of Reptar’s songs have quick-fire, catchy but hard-to-decipher lyrics, and live, we could all tell the new tracks were danceable and high energy, but it was hard to tell which songs where which, or really, what any of them might be about. But they sounded great, and left the audience excited for Body Faucet.
The guys paused half way through the set to cake keyboardist William Kennedy in the face for his birthday, then passed the cake around the crowd. For a band so early in their career, it was fun to see them play a mix of old songs (like Blast Off and Rainbounce) and new ones (like Orifice Origami and Sebastian), all of which got the audience clapping and dancing.
Fellow Athens GA band Quiet Hooves added more quirk to the night with their set that crammed 11 people onto the stage, including two trumpet players and a saxophone player. Their sound was unique track to track, but some memorable moments included Beegees-esque backing vocals and jazzy moments that felt like we had been transported to a New Orleans street.
Local Boston band the Dirty Dishes started
off the night with a solid set of tunes that lured early arrivers away from the bar and up towards the stage. Overall, it was a great night for large quantity of quality and quirky sounds.