The band Repeater has been around since 2004. I have not heard of them until now, but it seems as if they have been working their way up the music industry ladder to a point where their latest output, We Walk From Safety, could be produced by a notable name; Ross Robinson. His track record consists of many different bands: The Cure, KoRn, The Klaxons, etc. Not by any means as diverse as Rick Rubin, but it is still difficult to imagine what to expect out of this group. Luckily, they sound nothing like KoRn. What you CAN expect is an album with great density. Repeater’s latest work is one that can only be judged after a complete run through.
Listen to “Finally A Place”
This album reminds me of Emergency & I by The Dismemberment Plan. Not in a stylistic sense, because the two have completely different sounds. However, much like the capstone I just mentioned, (nearly) every track on We Walk From Safety exemplifies this sort of genius when it comes to putting a song together. These tunes can be intimidating, and almost a tad troublesome to get into. This LP proves to be an endearing, dense listen. Songs bloom after a short while and subtleties arise, followed by one clever hook after another. Patience isn’t the right word, but attention is more of what it takes to understand this release.
As far as Repeater’s rhythmic qualities go, they come off sounding like a tougher, visceral outfit of Interpol. If anything, the pounding, New Order-reminiscent bass lines are enough to give the record a comfortable, slightly familiar sound to it. They do a fine job of pushing these boundaries too, by not coming off as overly reliant on their influences and striving for a new, defining variation on the old look.
What may be the absolute worst choice for an album opener was indeed chosen for said album of review. I remember quite vividly the cringe I posed after many seconds in to listening. “Yours and Mine” begins with an introduction to Repeater’s vocalist. Whatever words you want to throw in that fit; trembling, warbling, nervous, quavering… these all meet the description. Not a bad voice at all, but it is a quintessential voice that requires getting used to. So after a slow-building a cappella performance (which eventually does resolve into a fantastic anthem using the full arsenal) as your first taste of this band, one may easily find themselves turned off.
Keep in mind that this is at first glance. Simply moving on to the next track will leave you listening to a new, exciting post-punk band without any question. Any other song on the album features the same singer, but accompanied with the rest of the band rather than stark naked, giving ample opportunity for the listener to quickly disapprove.
We Walk From Safety presents a challenge, but it is a wise obstacle to overcome. The benefits undoubtedly outweigh the few shortcomings. After an appropriate sampling, you can bask in Repeater’s intense dirges with a knowing smile, because a lot of elbow grease went into making this release, and has paid off beautifully.