REPLICATOR: Machines Will Always Let You Down: CD

Dec 13, 2007

For the sake of being totally up front with things, I have known Conan Neutron, the singer/guitarist of Replicator, for about six years now via the interweb. Now that we’re past that, I can tell you what I think of this album. From Oakland, California, Replicator has a number of full-lengths and EPs out and has been around for over seven years. This release has ten songs clocking in at near thirty-seven minutes. The album was recorded by one Vern Rumsey, formerly of the band Unwound. And speaking of Unwound, there are definitely influences from them, as well as Shellac (Bob Weston recorded a previous Replicator album), Brainiac, Frodus, and a whole host of other bands. Occasionally, samples and keyboards are used. Vocals are sung and shouted from two different singers, both of whom have the amazing ability to deliver their lines with (I’m guessing) a straight face. Take, for instance, this line from “Fashionably Latent”: “If I were to travel back in time, fashion would be a main concern of mine.” Or, from the same song: “It’s like a Surrealist painting; the kind with a giant penis serving tea to dainty old ladies.” Using that sense of humor, the band seems to primarily focus on technology, hence the title, although other subjects are covered as well, including not giving up, being owned, and King Shit of FuckMountain. The energy and sense of fun from their live show (which is quite good, I might add) definitely comes across on the recording, which is a rare thing to find. The technological focus of the band serves to match up well with the style they play. It’s as though, in my mind, I can picture an alternate reality where the members of Replicator are the last human beings left on an earth that has become ruled by cyborgs. This may be the music that could start the revolution. I guess we can’t say we weren’t warned.

 –kurt (Radio Is Down)