Starfucker: Reptilians

Starfucker: Reptilians

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Starfucker

Album: Reptilians
Label: Polyvinyl

Following a marketing nightmare that saw the band change its moniker to Pyramid, then Pyramiddd, then back to Starfucker—and when they’re trying to avoid censors, they can still be seen listed as STRFKR—the Portland quartet has narrowly escaped slipping through the cracks, and has returned with its second full-length. An exuberant, life-affirming synth-rock gem full of catchy keyboard squiggles and inspired by, interestingly enough, a meditation on death by leader Josh Hodges, Reptilians proves that really good bands can also have really stupid names. (And occasionally multiple stupid names.) Passion Pit’s dance-rock is an obvious reference point, but Starfucker also references Beck, Pinback, Pet Shop Boys, and even My Bloody Valentine. More importantly, there’s enough hook-filled drama here to give Reptilians its own definition. Much of that comes from the carpe-diem attitude expressed by the thumping beats and triumphant keys and espoused by the late philosopher Alan Watts, a regular source of Starfucker samples who notes at the end of “Mystery Cloud” that contemplating death is “very highly generative.” Reptilians is equal parts important, fun, and urgent, and it’s hard to think of a better combination of attributes for a pop record.

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