Artist Spotlight

Review: Repeater, “Repeater”

No Comments 11 January 2015

Review: Repeater, “Repeater”

“What’s ultimately satisfying about Repeater’s self-titled album is the very thing that can sound cold and soulless in the hands of a less savvy group of musicians. The combination of real and processed sounds adds so much depth and variation to this retro alt rock gem with an edge.”

Artist: Repeater

Album: Repeater

Genre: Alt Pop / New Wave

RIYL: New Order, The Cure, The XX, Metric, The Cocteau Twins

Repeater self-titled

Repeater, an evolving LA-based band/project from lead vocalist/songwriter Steve Krolikowski, ended 2014 with the release of a new self-titled album. This after a hiatus that saw a change in the lineup and only served to increase anticipation of new material. Having done a little research and listened to some of the three EPs and three albums released since 2005 (a pretty prolific rate of return), what’s impressive about the new album is the marked lean in a different musical direction, one that obviously served up a wealth of inspiration in the process.

Joining Krolikowski for this album is the sublimely talented Tess Shapiro on vocals and synth, Alex Forsythe on lead guitar, Christopher Fudurich on bass, and Charlie Woodburn on drums. The synth and drum work on this effort deserve special mention; the synth is just completely on point throughout and the use of both live and programmed drums is one of the best decisions made in the production of the record. This is all evident on the first track out of the gate, “Lonely,” an incredibly catchy tune that is only enhanced by the tribute to New Order in the video below. In fact, you can hear the dark, electronic beauty reminiscent of New Order all over this album, and that’s a very good thing.

If there was any doubt that you’d be treated to anything other than track after track of 80s/90s alt pop nostalgia wrapped up in modern form, “Work Things Out” erases it completely. This tune, along with “Captive” and “Black Rock Desert,” delivers on the promise that “Lonely” sets out from the first note. This is a prime example of sophisticated songcraft, and Repeater makes what was old seem very vibrant and new again.

“Hide the Sun” is another densely layered pop tune that’ll be stuck in your head for days; it’s hitting on all cylinders with just the right balance of synthy goodness with an edgier beat. “Forms of Evidence” even adds a sexy, unexpected dose of guitar with dark undertones and amped up vocals. “Never Forget” is another tune that sounds like it could be sandwiched right in between The Cocteau Twins and New Order on any playlist worth its salt.

What’s ultimately satisfying about Repeater’s self-titled album is the very thing that can sound cold and soulless in the hands of a less savvy group of musicians. The combination of real and processed sounds adds so much depth and variation to this retro alt rock gem with an edge. This record sets an incredibly high standard for production and arrangement. Listen to Repeater; your ears will be awash in lush, layered melodies that will leave you (what else?) hitting repeat.


Repeater on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Repeaterband

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