Album Review: Reptile Youth – ‘Rivers That Run For A Sea That Is Gone’

By March 11, 2014 Album, Reviews

How often do you listen to an album and it transports you to some inconceivably faraway summer, dancing in a wild crowd of thousands all smelling of camp fire and days old sweat to an exhilarating setlist you feel you have waited your whole life to hear?

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The wait is over.

Danish duo Reptile Youth strike again with their second album ‘Rivers That Run for A Sea That Is Gone’. How times have changed since their 2012 self-titled debut. Gone are the whimsical indie tracks; instead additional synth-pop elements and an overall sense of seriousness and of trying too hard perhaps take away some of the fun their previous effort carried. That said, as a band they have matured and gained some atmospheric force to their music which powers through track after track, leaving you breathless at the finish. Think Klaxons mashed up with New Order.

The album slowly draws open its curtains with ‘Above’, a space age number that progressively builds to an upsurge of layered guitars and passionate vocals. Though the lyrics are sometimes a bit basic and the rhyming feels forced, by the end of the song it won’t even matter and you’ll be tapping your foot along, if not dancing like an absolute pro and without any form of dignity.

The vigorously powerful vocals are made only more interesting by the Danish accent creeping in throughout, and this works particularly well in ‘Colours’. However, on the album’s title track ‘Rivers That Run For A Sea That Is Gone’ the instrumentals are allowed to take centre stage, fuelled by a heavier bass line that is more reminiscent of the old Reptile Youth. Definitely a future festival classic.

‘Structures’ has to be our favourite song on this LP. It progresses and intensifies more than any other track. This is instantly catchy and we’re going to be humming it to ourselves for days. A love song with an edgy twist ‘Where You End I Begin’ sounds more to us like an ode to song writing than to a lover, but it works well. The finishing fanfare is ‘Diseased by Desire’, an eight-minute marathon of rebellion and kaleidoscopic instrumentals that could have an audience hailing Reptile Youth as a band pioneering anti-establishment individuality.

This album in its entirety will without a doubt be a crowd-pleaser for a few summers to come. Anthemic, buoyant and most importantly anti-mainstream songs make this a memorable second album that has managed to stay immune to the typical curse expected of it. Not the technically best album we’ve ever heard, but who cares about technicalities when you can pretend you’re at Leeds festival without even leaving your bedroom? Besides some stilted lyrics and repetitive drum and instrumental pieces you could get tired of by the finish, this album is worthy of some hard earned pennies. There are big things to come from Reptile Youth yet.

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