Reptaliens & Yot Club
with Renata Zeiguer
at Thunderbird Music Hall
4053 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Tuesday, February 1st, 2022
Reptaliens are ready to be direct. After exploring surreal realms of high-conceptsynth-pop across two acclaimed albums, the Portland, Oregon, duo found newfound clarity in a stark, grounded approach. That may seem unexpected for such a colorful act—known for heady lyrics about conspiracy theories and transhumanism—but Cole and Bambi Browning have streamlined to the lean, propulsive essentials on their self-produced new LP, Multiverse.
Shelving the dreamy synths altogether and working without their other bandmates due to lockdown, Reptaliens reset, picking up their guitars and emphasizing the catchy attack that’s been there all along. Drawing inspiration from the spontaneous energy of the ’90s alternative canon, the pair hit a surge in momentum after a casual-turned-revelatory listen to Jane’s Addiction’s 1990 classic “Been Caught Stealing.” Without even aiming to make a Reptaliens song, they wound up penning the set’s lead single “Like a Dog,” a sun-soaked groove-bomb that’s blissfully unencumbered by sonic baggage. “That really kicked it off,” Cole recalls. “It was so fast and easy andfun that we said, ‘Let’s do more like that.’”
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Ryan Kaiser, the Mississippi-raised, Nashville-based musician known as Yot Club, didn’t even have TikTok on his phone when his track “YKWIM?” went viral on the app. For Kaiser, who writes, records, mixes, and masters every song he releases independently, TikTok fame and the accompanying streaming boost (“YKWIM?” now counts over 100 million streams on Spotify) came as a shock. Soon, almost every major label in America was making him offers that would gouge Kaiser and steal his work.
These are fitting pieces of the hyper-american, overly commercialized machinery that inspired Yot Club’s new EP, Santolina. The record’s six tracks map the terrifying, carefully-manicured haze of American suburbia, based in part on Kaiser’s childhood spent in the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi. This unfolds across lo-fi jangle-pop, indie rock, bedroom synth, and new wave, with occasional disco and instrumental flourishes. It’s all framed with a Wes Anderson whimsy, a pull to the idiosyncratic and deadpan while maintaining a vivid emphasis on the visual.