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Reptoids on the Rock Campaign Trail

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on May 4, 2006 8:39PM

Metromix’s annual Rock ‘n’ Vote contest is on again with ten local bands vying for a chance to play a show at Metro. Voting continues now through midnight Sunday. Currently leading the vote tallies are The Lifeline, The Emerald Lizards, and Otter Petter (which sounds like it would be nice work if you could get it).

2006_05_reptoids.jpgOne of the bands we’re hoping gets a few more votes thrown its way is Reptoids. They’re a four-person band, three-quarters of whom are women. We realize this fact shouldn't matter at all, but for some it’s still a surprise that women can just flat-out rock.

And good Lord, do Reptoids ever rock. We recently got our hands on its Park A Tiger album. It’s six tracks of unapologetic punk with none of the pop sheen some of their male counterparts layer over their songs so they can snag a spot on the cover of this month’s issue of J-14 or Bop.

While it may not convey the energy they have live, the production on Tiger gives you the sense of what it might be like hanging out at the Reptoids' rehearsal space and getting loaded on Old Style tall boys. The low-fi sound gathers the twin guitar assault of Kay Oh and Melissa, the punch-in-the-chest drums of Meg and the death bass of Chris into a stew of blood, sweat and fears.

But what really makes the album stand out from all the other bands who’ve got three chords and attitude to spare, is the underlying, rumbling sludge throughout many of their songs that is unmistakably metal. It’s most evident on “9 Times,” a song that whiplashes with a fierce complexity between Sabbath crunch and the amphetamine burn of an old Misfits record. Lyrically, Reptoids adopt a “fight or flight” ethos on tracks like “F.U.” (streaming mp3), a classic kiss-off that pulls no punches or “Mexico Fiasco,” a buzzing, fiery track that proves there’s always a group of kids trying to leave a town full of losers.

If you want to see the candidates in person, Reptoids are playing a show tonight at Betty’s Blue Star Lounge (at Grand and Ashland) or next Thursday at Cal’s Liquors (at Wells and VanBuren).