I warn you beforehand. I would not classify this solely as a review. While an album is technically reviewed in the article, this is more intended to be a brief breakdown of one of the most perplexing bands I have ever come across.
Where do you even begin with a band named after a fictional dinosaur from the show Rugrats? The fact that they even exist at all is still subject to debate for me. I came across them after I purchased tickets to see the band Cults (who, if you haven’t listened to their self-titled debut, you are seriously missing out), who is opening for Foster the People (separate debate) at a concert in October. Reptar is actually the band opening for the opening band. Still with me? So I felt like I had at least some small duty to listen to whatever music they had available and make a point to enjoy them live.
That’s where we get Oblangle Fizz Y’all…. yes, Oblangle Fizz Y’all. Surely a band who is big enough to be playing with Foster the People (who is steadily gaining popularity as we speak) has more to offer than five songs on an EP that may or may not be for real. When you google “reptar band,” the first thing that comes up is a MySpace page. The legend grows. According to their official page, they have been making music “ever since recorded history.” The bands listed as their influences range from the Talking Heads to the Jackson 5 to Marky Mark. Their band members, at various times, are described as “herniated African Soukus,” attendees at “Dartmouth College in the Arctic Circle” and “Herbie Hancock’s greatgodson.” They claim to have worked with P Diddy, Gnarls Barkley and Animal Collective. They start to describe their super powers in… okay, I seriously cannot go on. I have reached a point where I can’t tell if the band is a joke. I don’t think whatever comes out on that stage at that concert will surprise me either way.
With that much in mind, I hope you can imagine what their music sounds like. Their reputation definitely precedes them. Each track is its own little mystery. “Blastoff” starts with some pounding and instrumental tunings that feel like we are about to head into Panda Bear realm. That is before the Talking Heads style chants begin, followed by thirty seconds of falsetto that (I can’t help it) reminds me of something you’d hear from the All American Rejects, and, finally, head off into two straight minutes of wordless experimental synthesizer. That’s pretty much the band in a nutshell.
For five songs, you get that new wave, mildly experimental music laying it down pretty well. Musically speaking, I am pretty impressed by the band. They have that same 80s-do-it-yourself style that has caught on with endless acts at this point, but what else is there to say? The band sounds good. The music sounds good. It’s just that usually those types of scores are backed by slow moaning echoing ballads (hello, Panda Bear). Not in Reptar! No, they choose to build a synthesis between their incredibly non-conventional and borderline experimental instrumentals with some top 40 bubble gum vocals. And why not, right?
Honestly, I think you owe it to yourself to at least consider listening to Oblange Fizz Y’all. It’s a discussion waiting to happen. It’s hard to even absorb. We listened to it here a few weeks ago and would look up to say something every few minutes but simply shake our heads and keep listening. The singing sounds way different but is usually pretty catchy. They just never even begin to go with one another. Not for one second. I don’t think Reptar even planned on offering you justification for it. And, what the fuck any of this has to do with the Rugrats is the least of your concerns.