Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

REPTILIAN, THE

GenresPunk / Math Rock / Post-Rock / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Experimental / Prog / Indie / Post-Punk
Related artistsSeventeen Again, Pack Sounds, Forget The Times and Guppy.
Country: Kalamazoo, Michigan USA
Years Active2007-present
Song: "The Drifter"
Album: "End Paths"
Year: 2016
For fans ofThe ExplorationNativeMouse Fitzgerald, Kidcrash, Wild Guess, Two Knights, American Football, I Love Your Lifestyle, Greyscale, North Of America, My First Castle, Alta, Terry Green, Guppy, The Rabbit Theory, Drummers, Piglet, Oliver Houston, Dads, My Dad and Zoo Books aka PROPER SCREAMO.
Label(s): Self Released / Skeletal Lightning Records / The Ghost Is Clear Records / Count Your Lucky Stars / Already Dead / Carucage Records / Black With Sap / Mayfly Records / Community Records / i.corrupt Records
This post's artist is from the September 2016 Mix. This is track #1.
You can download: the September 2016 Mix#9 right here or get the new October 2016 Mix#10 here.

THE REPTILIAN. Jesus fucking christ, where do I start? Well, let's start with the Dave story. I first heard the band after checking out screamy acts like Innards and Jowls. I enjoyed what I heard but I didn't download or buy anything so they kinda fell off of my radar. In 2014 the band contacted me in hopes to have a show in Hamilton with their touring partners Two Knights. I only put on shows for bands that I really like so I revisited them and their newer material 'Low Health' which I enjoyed enough to put on that show. And what a show, holy moly. THE REPTILIAN played with Two Knights, Congratulations, Wimp City and Total Bummer and it was an amazing show on all counts, so be sure to check videos out right here. I definitely got more into THE REPTILIAN after seeing them play live and followed their releases afterwards with interest.

But, it wasn't until early 2016 when I went to my parents-in-laws in Kalamazoo, Michigan and spent an afternoon at Dan's place (drums/vocals) chilling out and listening to music that I fell in love. Near the end of our session he asked if I wanted to hear the newly finished THE REPTILIAN record and I was both excited and honoured. After hearing only a few minutes of the opening song "The Drifter" did I realize that the band had created something that I didn't just like, I fucking loved. The maturation of both the lyrics and song structures may frustrate some superfans, but this new approach to their music truly puts them on a pedestal all their own. The mixture of post-hardcore, subdued/looped tappy guitars and dual vocals is a concoction only 10 years of playing together could produce. I've heard a myriad of responses, but most seem to agree that although the twinkly, tappy parts helped define the band and generate buzz, the shedding of this style for a much more experimental and mature approach was in the band's best interest. After listening to the entire THE REPTILIAN discography, I personally believe the band has evolved twice, therefore encompassing three different (yet similar) styles in their decade long tenure.

Style #1 2008-2009
On their first two releases, THE REPTILIAN used a dual guitar attack now abandoned with very sassy/screamy/mildly deeper vocals. The twinkles are prevalent but the sound of it all is very dark and probably more akin to indie/math-rock meets screamo. I think Native is a decent comparison.

Style #2 2010-2015
Undoubtedly the band's most popular and playful music which I would characterize as punk rock meets mathy emo. During this phase the vocals became what we know them as today, for Jon and Dan found their true voices near the onset of 2010, with Dan doing a talking/yell and Jon harnessing the throaty scream. I actually prefer the band's earlier style to this, much more popular style. I must say, the 'Full Health' 10" is really good and the 'Low Health' 12" has some pretty sweet tracks (such as "University of the Indian in the Cupboard", "Chimney Wizard" and "Cooler by the Lake"), but that 2016 material is just too good.

Style #3 2016-present
'End Paths' is stellar. You will definitely see it in my top 20 of 2016. I relish the fact that I wasn't obsessed with the band prior to this record, so I don't feel obliged to love it. But I do love it, and that's what is so comforting about it. The songs have a very solid foundation of post-hardcore that tangent to very new, experimental styles for the band. The risk put into trying something new paid off and then some, as the opener "The Drifter" is insanely catchy as it rolls along those killer drum beats and repeating guitar riffs. The vocals don't make an appearance until after the one minute mark and are sporadic when compared to earlier work, as the members obviously took time placing vocals where they need to be to enhance the song instead of dropping lyrics, regardless of their effect on the song's flow. Track two's "No Path" is probably my favourite THE REPTILIAN song. There's a lot of good I can say about this, but I'll just stick to: killer bass, catchy as fuck vocal placements, excellent lyrics, dancey parts, guitar fuckery, a super chill second half and that line of, "I caught a glimpse of myself ten years past with crooked fingers crossed behind our crooked backs." Another honourable mention has to be the epic "Wrong Pattern" aka track seven. The opening sounds like the onset of a nightmare, as ambiance meets anger that detonates after the first minute and gets into a very bouncy groove that has a stack of layered guitars over Jon's screaming. By two minutes the song has gained a head of steam when Dan's vocals come in, only to have the song revert back to that opening abyss yet magnified. This builds for awhile with just drums and bass as well as the occasional chanting until 4:47 when shit gets prodigious and the epic closing strangles any remaining air and space that the song once had.

So there's Dave's take on THE REPTILIAN. I think mine is probably different than most, coming from quite an isolated knowledge of band's music from the last three years, and most of that being entrenched in the new 'End Paths' and its remainder "Stay Another Season" from the flexi b-side. Below are some links you may want to check out. The next THE REPTILIAN release will be high on my priority list, as the band has reached new heights and I have no idea where they might go next - but I expect it to be awesome.

Stuff you can buy from ZBR:
'End Paths' cassette
'No Path/Stay Another Season' flexi 7"
'4-way split' w/Two Knights, Boy Parts & Victor Shores 7"
'Low Health' 12"

Show reviews:
THE REPTILIAN w/Two Knights, Congratulations, Wimp City & Total Bummer (Aug.20 2014)
THE REPTILIAN w/Terry Green, Nanette & Wimp City (Jul.25 2016)

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DISCOGRAPHY

2008 - We Have Become cdEP (stream/donate/download here)
2008 - 4-Way Split cdEP (w/Lautrec, Boy Problems & Osceola)

2009 - Boys Life cdEP (stream/donate/download here)
2009 - Unreleased Tracks digitalEP (stream/donate/download here)

2010 - Full Health 10"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2011 - Live cassetteLP
2011 - 4-Way split 7"EP (w/Joie De Vivre, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) & Annabel) (stream/donate/download here)
2011 - Jowls split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2011 - Innards split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - Low Health cd/12"LP (stream/donate/download here)
2013 - We Have Become / Boys' Life cassetteLP (2xEP compilation)
2013 - The Donut Hill Sessions cassetteEP (stream/donate/download here)

2015 - 4-Way split 7"EP (w/Two Knights, Victor Shores & Boy Parts) (stream/donate/download here)

2016 - End Paths cd/cassette/12"LP (stream/buy here)
2016 - No Path / Stay Another Season flexi7"EP (listen here)

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(2016) THE REPTILIAN - "No Path" (from 'End Paths')

(2016) THE REPTILIAN - "Wrong Pattern" (from 'End Paths')

(2016) THE REPTILIAN - "The Drifter" (from 'End Paths')

(2016) THE REPTILIAN - "The Drifter & No Path" (from 'End Paths') live video

(2016) THE REPTILIAN - "Stay Another Season" (from 'No Path / Stay Another Season')

(2015) THE REPTILIAN - "Nahimastay" (from '4-Way')

(2014) THE REPTILIAN - "Nahimistay" (from '4-Way' split) live video

(2013) THE REPTILIAN - "Chimney Wizard" (from 'Low Health')

(2011) THE REPTILIAN - "Gold Blooded" (from 'Innards' split)

(2011) THE REPTILIAN - "Ryan" (from 'Jowls' split)

(2011) THE REPTILIAN - "Eddie's Lane" (from '4-Way')

(2010) THE REPTILIAN - "Dungeons and Dragqueens" (from 'Full Health')

(2009) THE REPTILIAN - "Dave Matthews Band Live" (from 'Unreleased Tracks')

(2009) THE REPTILIAN - "I'll Ram My Ovopositor Down Your Throat and Lay Eggs in Your Chest But, I'm Not an Alien" (from 'Boys' Life')

(2008) THE REPTILIAN - "The One Thing I Could Never Stomach About Santa Carla Was All The Damn Vampires" (from 'We Have Become')

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THE REPTILIAN additional links

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1 comment:

  1. I've dug these fellas' tunes for a while now, but I can attest to a similar experience; it was the time spent with these guys that really sold them to me. Not only do they write excellent tunes that they deliver with a genuine, heartfelt enthusiasm that their audiences can't help but share in, but they're genuine and fantastic people that believe in and care about what they're doing. The shows we got to play with them are and likely will remain my fondest memories of touring, and I feel like I ended up a better person as a result of what can only be described as "infectious positivity." Glad to see 'dem 'Tilian boys are still rippin'

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