On the one hand, the “you’re only as good as your last record” barometer is pretty fair (and, quite often, strikingly accurate). On the other, it can be tragically unfair—and in the case of hometown boys Reptar, can make a band its own worst enemy.
Body Faucet doesn't have the same immediate appeal as the stellar, bombastic EP Oblangle Fizz, Y’all, because Afro-beat, disco-dance rock doesn't have the same luster in 2012 as it did this time a year ago, let alone a few years ago. While still popular in the straw polls, it seems much closer to the norm by the day.
As the band’s brand spreads and its producer becomes fancier (Animal Collective guru Ben H. Allen), Body Faucet does feel somewhat expected. Whereas Oblangle slapped you to attention with unexpected quirk, Faucet seems content to keep that attention only in short spurts, as if the band didn’t know how to show its full hand.
Yet any missteps are far from fatal. The full package is clean and crisp, showcasing sonic growth while giving an overall fidelity facelift to the band (though debatable if that was needed). The boys can be catchy as ever, and they’re strongest when they cut straight to the point in their new wave homages (“Orifice Origami,” “Sweet Sipping Soda”).
Groundbreaking? No, not really. But Body Faucet shows enough brilliant flashes and youthful energy to remind us that they’ll have more shots at greatness ahead.