So we all know the story of the name of Starfucker (in short: silly and offensive name then changed to Pyramid, then to Pyramiddd which irked some folk and smelled a little of selling out, and then name changed back again with family friendly 'STRFKR' usable on posters etc), and we also know that this has merged from a one-man bedroom project to a four-piece fully blown band, but how does second album Reptilians progress musically from the self-titled debut and the Jupiter follow up EP?

Well, we find similar ingredients, fairly fragile vocals which are often lyrically downbeat, bits of guitar, bits of synth, and electro-sounding drums, but altogether quite different songs. For starters, Reptilians has a much dancier feel to it. Bass drums thud with more force, and synths project with more illumination. Starfucker have always been electronic but here it is much more in your face and brash than in the past, and, like brash things often are, it's at times fairly unpleasant. Take 'Millions'. Opening fairly inconspicuously with a range of bleeps, it's not long before a truly horrible bass line overrides it and then an even less likeable synth line hits in during the chorus. Although at first it seems it, in truth it isn't actually that bad a song. It's fairly catchy, and the vocals provide a real reprieve. But it's just you have to trudge through a lot of un-pleasantries before the nice parts actually reveal themselves.

Unfortunately, this is the case with much of the album. On first listen to Reptilians, what sticks out most prominently is indeed the more brash dance style that the band have veered towards and this makes the second listen a less likely occurrence - which is a real shame given that, behind and between the in-your-face moments, Reptilians has a lot to offer.

'Born', for instance, opens the albums strongly - acoustic guitar strums built upon in Flaming Lips style with layers of samples, a drum beat, bass, and high-pitched, drawn out vocals to pleasant, catchy effect. Fifth track 'Death as a Fetish' is all bass-y buzz before a brilliant Los Campesinos!-sounding guitar lick emerges, and loops throughout the track, almost in defiance against the synth sounds. 'Hungry Ghost' is all vocal sample and intelligent electronics, synths calm and complementary rather than harsh and overpowering. Unlike some songs of the album, these tracks are modest and, instead of shouting at you to listen, gently nudge.

As well as strong individual tracks, it is also consistently good in certain areas. The vocals are probably where the album is strongest. As mentioned, they'e often downbeat and almost delicate sounding, yet they are still more than able to hold a chorus and give a kind of 'sing-along' feel - and it's also interesting to hear the sadness and lyrics regularly circling around the topic of death combating the upbeat nature of the songs themselves. Unsurprisingly, it's those tracks that allow the vocals to come through more that fair the best and, unsurprisingly again, this usually occurs in songs where synths take more of a back seat.

Songs are also on the whole very well put together with layers intelligently added and woven, and with the vocal samples (spoken word philosophical ramblings of British lecturer Alan Watts as heard on previous records) still proving as effective as on previous efforts.

Although often clouded by dislikeable moments of big, electronica sounds, Reptilians has a lot to be enjoyed once these can be gotten past. A solid album, but for those willing to be a little patient with it.

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