Philadelphia's singer-songwriter Graham Repulski picked up where
Bevis Frond and Guided By Voices had left.
His many albums and EPs of lo-fi psych-pop
share with them the property of being mostly filled with disposable,
predictable, derivative songs.
Man Pop (Shorter, 2010) contains a few delightful imitations:
the Byrds-ian Slopping About,
the Police-esque Good Motor Revolution,
Tuesdays With Rocco/ Germ Coma (the Beatles of Magical Mystery Tour),
and one amusing skit, the
fanfare for marching band Election Day.
Valued Snakes is the most fully-formed song.
The four-song EP My Color Is Red (Big School, 2011) contains his best
psychedelic number, Everyone Likes My Three Dollar Shirt,
and the catchy Mommy's Dreaming.
But that was just the beginning of the deluge that followed, with EPs like
My Dreams Have Arms (2011) and
No Expectations (2011) that definitely didn't meet the expectations.
Electric Worrier (2011) seems to mock
Mersey-beat of the 1960s in Crab Feast and especially
Molten Girls Iowa (despite the thumping quasi-industrial rhythm),
but the experiments soon get more morbid, all the way to the guitar
instrumental Kickface and especially the noisy exotic nightmare of
The songs are certainly unpredictable.
Hunt Them opens with a riff that evokes saloon blues-rock but instead is soon hijacked by children singing and strumming the guitars; and
Our Big Wet World is simply one minute of white noise.
Nobody can waste a melody like him: War & Peace lasts a mere 18 seconds.
The 24-song Into An Animal Together (2011) has probably 15 songs too
many but the catchy and eccentric Burnt Bootleg Antiquity, Funny Girls, Heavy Metal Ally and Bulletproof Skull
(especially the latter) are gems of his catalog, and the
"acid", distorted fanfare of Graphic Blvd could be by the
Holy Modal Rounders.
Cop Art (Big School, 2013) "only" has 13 songs, and most of them
very brief. Unfortunately most of them are also irrelevant.
The bombastic mayhem of Land Of Onions and the galactic
hissing of Misguided Attempts At Pretending To Care
are enchanting in their own twisted way,
and the galloping Boilerplate Knockouts is almost punk-rock by his
standards, but the distorted jangling guitar of
Why I Don't Believe In Anything is not enough to redeem the
L.A. Grunge, on the other hand, is amusing take on the
pounding Velvet Underground "trip".
The 17-song Success Racist (Shorter, 2014) begins with the
vibrant garage anthem Octopus Bribes, wrapped in the usual
and with the neurotic ballad Crying Machine Shakes The Moon.
Things get even more weird as the album begins a journey into downright insanity
Of Limb And Life (A Compact History), in which he sounds like
a deranged street performer,
Elevator Tricks and
Lumpy Wattage, whose melody and waltzing drums are buried under obnoxious guitar noise.
James Run is another cryptic street song which leads to the
hyper-psychedelic chant Planned Blackouts.
Funeral Games emerges from the fog with a monster rhythm that halfway
turns into a southern-rock guitar jam.
After Gallant Bluffing, another demented street singalong, the album
ends with the booming, magniloquent In Waves.
The album is not groundbreaking but it still stands as an inspired ode to musical insanity.
As if 17 songs weren't enough, Repulski also released the
EPs Ballerina Arcade (2014),
High On Mt Misery (2015) and
Octopus Bribes (2015).
The cassette Maple Stag (All Tens Music, 2014) opens with two of
his cryptic micro-composition, the deformed song
Fidelity Walls and the
electronic experiment Inauthentic Love.
Ponderous Little Number is three minutes of percussion and dirty drones,
and Manure Gospel is 30 seconds of metallic noise.
There are few songs that can be called "songs" and Cartoon Meltdown is
by far the most straightforward.
The cassette Portable Grindhouse (Hope For The Tape Deck, 2014)
Ricky (Time After Time), one of his best Velvet Underground-ian numbers,
D-Beat At Dawn, one of his darkest noisescapes,
Queen Gas Tart, his noisiest rave-up ever (but only 30 seconds long),
and several other barely-sketched ideas.
The EP Re-Arranged At Hotel Strange (2016) contains
Dick Kicker and Theme From Short Circuit .
The cassette I'm Even Younger Now (Shorter, 2017) contains 15 songs,
most of them less than a minute long, and mostly unfinished.
You have to go through a lot of filler before you reach
the horribly disfigured ballad Sad Legs,
the mantra-like lullabye Typhoon Reform,
the poppy Bob For Uncles,
or the three songs with no title, which are actually among the best,
No Title #3 with its garage-grade power riff and
No Title #6 that seems to mock the
Rolling Stones' Jumping Jack Flash.
The seven songs of the EP Permission To Love (2018) sound like leftovers from the album.
His most adventurous compositions yet were reserved for the noisy, chaotic
EP Negative Highlight Reel (2018), where the "song" became a mere abstraction.