Haven’t heard of STRFKR? The group, made up of Shawn Glassford, Ryan Biornstad, Keil Corcoran and front-man Josh Hodges, is known for its stage dives, cross dressing and Target commercial featuring “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second.” Fans of Pinback, MGMT and Crystal Castles will rejoice in the hazy vocals, ethereal echoing and techno-centric beats of STRFKR.
STRFKR’s attention-grabbing name (the group was formerly known as PYRAMID, and later Pyramiddd) and constellation of dance-friendly music has garnered the band fame among the indie-pop community and on the Internet.
The group’s music is unlike anything on the radio. It is not the bubble gum and sweet candy songwriting of love and the pursuit of a significant other, but instead a contemplation of one’s own life. Talk of death can be dreary, but STRFKR attacks the sticky issue with humor.
Reptilians begins with “Born,” a slew of high-pitched melodies and up-beat drumming that is both haunting and hypnotizing. “Julius” has a pulsing tempo and ominous vocals that leave your head swaying to the tunes of this refreshing group.
The album’s focus seems to be on the demise of the world as we know it, with song titles like “Bury Us Alive” and “Death as a Fetish.” But instead of running to church to repent on past sins, STRFKR’s dreamy-pop music will have you hitting the dance floor.
On the “Mystery Cloud,” STRFKR produces thoughtful words after a cheery ballad with Hodges singing Everybody should do in their lifetime sometime, two things / One is to consider death / To observe scowls and skeletons and to wonder what it would be like to go to sleep and never wake up / Never.
The listener, shocked by the blunt probing of death, is comforted by Hodges’ mature perspective.
STRFKR masterfully grabs you with its groovy vibes, while pulling you in with its philosophical examination of the afterlife.
The authoritative phrases of “Mystery Cloud” hang on the chords of the human heart where the only way to bring meaning to one’s own life is by recognizing there is, in fact, an end to it. Everyone is going six-feet under so we might as well celebrate what we have, wherever we are and preferably with the beats of STRFKR.
Following “Bury Us Alive,” “Death as a Fetish” and “Mystery Cloud” both conjure a relaxed vibe by mixing electric guitar and thumping drums. The group tones it down in “Mona Vegas,” a softer ballad that lets the listener drift off to sleep.
The album continues with “Millions,” a song filled with generous dance-hopping beats and a breakdown of lightly-handled tambourines.
STRFKR has the last hurrah in the club-thumping song “Quality Time,” where the band contemplates many emotions set to a multi-layered track and the rise and fall of the group’s crescendo.
Once you listen, you’ll be hooked.
If you are left wanting more, STRFKR has announced a full U.S. tour starting in San Francisco and hitting West Hollywood at the Troubadour Mar. 11.