Graham Repulski

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Man Pop (2010), 6/10
Electric Worrier (2011), 6/10
Into An Animal Together (2011), 5/10
Cop Art (2013), 5/10
Success Racist (2014), 6/10
Maple Stag (2014), 5/10
Portable Grindhouse (2014), 6.5/10
I'm Even Younger Now (2017), 5/10

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 Mind Bog. 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 facile melody. 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 distortion, and with the neurotic ballad Crying Machine Shakes The Moon. Things get even more weird as the album begins a journey into downright insanity with 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) contains Ricky (Time After Time), one of his best Velvet Underground-ian numbers, Rainbow Twilley, 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.

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