Album Review: Starfucker – Reptilians

Sebastiao Martins 17 April 2011

Starfucker – Reptilians (Polyvinyl Records, 2011)

Track to download: Julius

First they were Starfucker, then Pyramid, then Pyramiddd of all things… until finally the mysterious ways of marketing forced them to return to something a bit more fame-aspiring (or fame-fornicating) like Starfucker again, often toned down to STRFKR, leaving over-concerned parents to figure the enigma out for themselves.

They claim they just wanted to ‘see how far they could get with a stupid name like that’, as if their attempted second and third names were anything short of ridiculous. As it turns out, good bands do go far even with silly names, and at their second effort at the charts, this three year Portland, OR. quartet is proving just that.

A good dose of cheerfulness and laid-back vibes are provided by the electro indie feel that pervades the album, with it’s almost (sadly, just almost) ever present synth-pop beats you just want to move your feet and bang your head to.

Whenever that beat shies away, however, you’re left with mouth wash falsettos from lead singer Joshua Hodges – somewhat easy to endure up to that point – usually mumbling something about the acceptance of death which seems to break away from the light heartedness of the music.

Maybe that’s the point of this whole album, if there is one. Like an audio sample from philosopher Alan Watts in ‘Mystery Cloud’ goes, the ‘contemplation of death’ is ‘very highly generative of creative life… you’ll get wonderful things out of that.’

It is precisely that ‘creative life’ that springs from the ‘seize the day’ dance beats. Personally, I’d like to see them go more synth-pop and less indie rock, maybe even give less air time to the lyrics. After all, we do live in a cynical era where even if death is not accepted, it is at least contemplated all too often for their lyrics to be anything more than an understatement, and for their music to be anything less than carpe-diem enjoyable.

Sebastiao Martins