Reptile (aka Risaeðlan) – “Ívar Bongó” and “Fame and Fossils”

Reptile reminds me of what Oingo Boingo would sound like if fronted by Björk.

OK, that’s simply not true.  Once again I went into listening to an album with some fancy, witty idea for an opening, and the music made that opening both irrelevant and ignorant.  You’d think I’d have learned by now.  Let the music speak for itself.  Though to be fair (to me), Reptile’s sound is all over the place, and I sort of formulated that idea after hearing a couple of their tracks on the World Domination compilation, so it’s not like I was totally making stuff up.  Not really.  I mean, not REALLY.  Maybe more like taking some artistic liberties.  But bad ones.

I don’t even know how to describe Reptile to you.  They don’t seem to a have “a sound” per se, instead bouncing around from indie to alt-swing to punk to Japanese pop.  Fame and Fossils (1990) is sort of disjointed, almost like every song is done in a different style.  It’s a bizarre listening experience – not bad, just sort of hard to pin down.  It doesn’t neatly fit into a category, which I suppose is good in a way, but that also makes it challenging – maybe too challenging for a work night, like I might need an extra cocktail or two to really get into it.  Now the four-song EP Ívar Bongó (1990)… that I got into right away.  The songs felt a bit more connected, though realistically they weren’t – they just might have been a stronger group of material, and therefore were just better top to bottom.  “Ó” sounds like it would fit in perfectly on the soundtrack to your Halloween party, and every track was a winner.

These records both came to me via Lucky Records… but on different trips.  I picked up Fame and Fossils last year at Airwaves, while I added Ívar Bongó on our most recent trip and just hadn’t gotten around to listening to it yet (four records left that still haven’t graced the turntable since our mid-April trip to Reykjavik… I’m workin’ on it!).  Good stuff.  Not sure entirely what to make of it at this point, but it’s still good stuff.