Thursday, June 2, 2011

Starfucker - Reptilian

Starfucker is a Portland based electronic band that formed in 2007, and since then have made lots of waves in the local area. I myself living in Oregon have experienced a lot of that hype, and since their first album with Polyvinyl records came out in March they've been grabbing quite a bit of attention not just in the local community. Don't let their immature name get to you.
Simply put, this is a very summery feel good album. These songs are upbeat and danceable, pop even, but I also think that fans of pure electronic could find themselves getting into this. The production is great, far better than I expected since I'm so used to seeing them as a low budget local band. However all the sounds here are very clean, and you can hear all of what's going on without it feeling like the instruments are fighting over who's going to get the spotlight. The vocals aren't really stand out here, not like usual bands at least. They're hidden under a bit of reverb, which can bug me personally sometimes but here it goes with the music pretty well and makes the vocal more of another layer of instrumentation to enjoy than something to latch onto like a vocal. You hardly notice the lyrics, but I don't think that's a problem. There isn't really lyrical genius going on here, that isn't the point of the music. It's simple and fun. Some of the songs on here I can easily get up and dance to, like Julius and Bury Us Alive. Others I can see myself playing retro games to, like The White of Noon and Mystery Cloud. So you get enough variety when it comes to atmosphere, while not getting much with mood. Usually I like albums that take you on a journey, so to speak. Here you're not really getting that, however what it does very well in my opinion is capture a single moment in time, a mood and a feeling, one of ethereal happiness and exploration of your imagination.
Now I do have a few minor issues with this album. First of all there are some tracks with intros and outros with some sample of a guy talking, and it just kind of takes me out of the experience and I find myself wanting to fast forward through it. I'm not sure where this sample comes from or what he's saying, I honestly don't pay attention, but it kind of gives me the same vibe as Carl Sagan's videos, which in contrast with the mood this album puts you in is just a weird combination. Now this might just be a personal gripe, I've always been annoyed with just dead pan talking thrown into tracks where the rest is singing. It's not a huge deal though. When it does happen it's not for long, and it's only a few times through the album, so I can look past that. However there are some songs on this album, particularly in the middle, that I find myself getting distracted on. They don't hold my attention and excitement as well as the others. They aren't bad, but I find myself waiting for the next stand-out track. These are small issues and as a whole I really enjoyed this album.

So in conclusion, this album is great for electronic and dance pop fans alike, and would be excellent to put on your stereo for summer of 2011. It's simple, it's upbeat, it's fun, I think with this album they're really starting to claw their way to the big leagues, and I can't wait to see what comes next from them.

Favorite tracks: Julius, Bury Us Alive, The White of Noon


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