July 20th, 2011 | Published in Rock, Pop & Folk
vivoscene rating 7.2
It’s new age, post-punk art rock. It’s hard to put your finger on; it’s love at first listen. Repeater’s upcoming album, We Walk From Safety, which dropped August 2nd, sees the Long Beach band bent on establishing the atmospherics that they’ve mastered so well in their live performances.
Producer Ross Robinson, the “Godfather of Nu Metal” (KoRn, At the Drive-In, Slipknot), claims that Repeater got his attention through “The open feeling of raw emotion.” And We Walk From Safety delivers.
Steve Krolikowski’s abrasive voice evokes the insouciant cool of Interpol, the broken brilliance of the Deftones. It’s a familiar sound, but his dark deliverance gives a sharp purpose to the lyrics, which are cohesive throughout the entire album. If we knew that this is what post-hardcore had the potential to sound like, we would’ve been on board a long time ago.
From a glance at the song titles, you might be expecting an angsty album; songs like “To Swallow Lost Goodbyes” and “Black and Selfish Love” sound apocalyptically bleak, but are actually full of vitality and depth. The opener, “Yours and Mine”, a six-minute consuming prelude, begins with a pulsing a capella intro. The shadowy tension and trembling strings turn frantic, erupting with adrenaline. Okay, these guys know how to set a tone.
Hard-hitting high points include “Finally a Place”, the most radio-ready track with a clean new age bass line; and the shivering and dissonant semitones in “Patterns” have us hooked. “The Stars Spell out Your Name” finally gives meaning to the band’s name, Repeater; now we know that it refers to way you’ll ravage your replay button. The delayed guitar effect in the opening prompts an appropriate forecast of the song, and the entire album.
Listen to “Patterns” here:
As promised, this album is a departure from safety, from lyrical comfort. Labelling will be detrimental to Repeater, who can elicit dimensions of vulnerability, or stomping aggression, with ease. You can loosely compare them to cornerstone groups like Joy Division or Sonic Youth, but there’s no doubt that you’ll be comparing other promising bands to Repeater in the near future.