Psychic Sidekick

by Andy Human & The Reptoids

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about

"Post-punk trio from Oakland who bring many things to my mind: Devo, Dancing Cigarettes, Red Krayola, Wire, Uranium Club, Bonzo Dog Band (I’m weird). But hey, that’s just me--they sound like themselves. This is their second LP following a self-titled debut in 2015. Plus several 7-inch releases in between. “Fissures” opens it up with a joyous declaration of alienated purpose: “life in the cracks/that’s where I’m at/life in the fissures/life in the fissures.” Looking for meaning in the nooks ’n crannies of modern life. The title track works up a bit of psych swirl among the angles. And “Echo Pedal” references guitar efx as a metaphor for the daily struggle. Dig the electronics. The banging piano and glam-chuggin’ rhythms on “Cul de Sac” are like low-rent Roxy Music--or would that be Oklahoma proto-punkers Debris'?! “A Void” could be their new-wave dance hit--or something like that. “Thrust of History” and “You Like Your Job” have a Gang of Four vibe, although not as heavy. And there’s more. First-rate stuff--nice to hear a modern post-punk thing that doesn’t also veer into hardcore territory. They have a pretty unique thing goin’. But they sound like they’re from the north of England, not Oakland--hah!"
- Vulcher

"Oakland seems to be lousy with post-punk bands these days, but Andy Human & The Reptoids bring a certain uniqueness to the field. Their influences are more in the range of weird, art-punk dancey bands like Red Krayola than the somberness of New Order. Electronic beeps and boops add to the sci-fi vibe the band is striving for (their genre of choice is “reptoid rock”). Vocalist Andy Human brings a brash, glam vibe, his vocal delivery similar to Marc Bolan’s. Between the psychedelic guitar and melodic choruses, this trio would not seem out of place in Australia’s robust, oddball DIY scene, where proto-punk and post-punk often rub elbows. My favorite track, “You Like Your Job,” is minimal and on the darker side, buzzing along to a turbulent, discomforting end. “Happiness is a good career,” Human sings, with mock matter-of-factness. For the chorus he repeats “You like your job” with differing affectations, in turn expressing jubilance and pure disbelief."
-Best Punk On Bandcamp Feb. '19

"Punk is a unique art-form, in that you pretty much only get worse at it as you go along. Can you think of any punk groups who released their finest work ten years into their career? And yet, Andy Human contradicts this theorem with the last few years of his music, proving that in some rare cases, people can get better at punk. I’m referring to Andy Human’s recent work with The Reptoids: the 2017 single on Total Punk and, in particular, this new full-length. He struts out his punk with a real laissez faire attitude on this one, as though he’s the type of guy who steps on a steaming pile of dog waste on the sidewalk and merely shrugs, not even bothering to find a curb to scrape it on. He shares that attitude with classic groups like Vox Pop and Jet Bronx & The Forbidden, and he shares their sonic template too, one of casual slacker-punk from an era before slackers were a codified thing. With decades’ worth of music history at his disposal, Human borrows liberally from anything that works, like punchy post-punk (“You Like Your Job”), saloon-style piano, the sweltering DIY skank of early Scritti Politti, Iggy Pop’s haircuts from 1979 through 1986, maybe even some of the more offbeat hardcore-related sounds emanating from Southern California circa 1984. Human makes it all work naturally, in what very well might be his finest musical achievement to date. Which, if my calculations are correct, means his next album will be even better."
-Yellow Green Red

"Oakland squirm punks Andy Human & The Reptoids are back with another long player and it’s charging through the hallways ripping down your Duran Duran posters and spray-painting DEVO all over the walls. Human (nee Jordan) has been mining the nerd curdle of the ‘80s for some time now, though Psychic Sidekick might be his most complete vision yet. While they’re a bit more constrained than similar t-zone dropouts like Ausmuteants, Timmy Vulgar, or Hierophants – the band doesn’t scrape the glue-soaked freak centers as often as others – they still know how to inject a good dose of plastic shrapnel into their brand of punk. When they’re at their best they’re echoing high quality discomfort warriors like Twinkeyz and Simply Saucer for next gen of back row miscreants and the new LP rounds up quite a lot of their best.
Guitars thrash, a haze of ionospheric synth static rains down, and Jordan’s nasal vocal puncture is exactly what’s called for to keep the insomniac punks running ‘til dawn. This time ‘round they run their tongues over ten tales railing against mind melt of mundanity like it’s a mission statement. The band liquifies the banal cabal surrounding them in their heat vision hooks – jittering and hopping through tracks with freakish glee. If you’ve been stuck and stranded, at loss for a dose of quasar chaos to get you through the day, then I’d heartily recommend at least one daily dose of Reptoids in yer life."
-Raven Sings The Blues

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released February 5, 2019

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