Ask the average Joe or Josephine lunch pail on the street what comes to mind when you throw the phrase ‘one-man band’ at ‘em and chances are that, at best, they’ll hit you back with some blather concerning a busker dude who’s a dead ringer for Santa Claus plonking away on a wretched acoustic guitar while blowing on a harp and keeping steady time via a weathered kick drum. Metal fans are much more aware of a long lineage of one-man death metal bands like Putrid Pile, Insidious Discrepancy and Bloodsoaked, countless bedroom black metal projects and those making use of technology to make their solitary effort sound like an army of noise makers is backing them up. Chalk Oakland, CA’s Jordan Sobolew up as a member of that latter category.
With Reptoid, Sobolew spits out a furious firestorm of industrial-scarred noise rock that joins the divide between the chaotic sounds of Lightning Bolt and the Locust with the knack bands like the Young Gods and Treponem Pal have for harsh and heavenly melodies and does so “with an army of drums, homemade fuzz pedals, noise devices and a sampler, to produce spastic, hypnotizing rhythms, and painfully amplified sounds drenched in effects through an oversized pedal-board full of odd implements. Vocals are delivered through a mic strapped directly to the face by a modified respirator mask.”
Reptoid’s debut album is entitled Worship False Gods and was released a couple weeks ago courtesy Learning Curve Records. Today, we premiere a video from one of the album tracks, “You Have Already Been Compromised,” during which you can pay witness to an awesome display of the octopus-limbed Sobolew hammering drums, stomping pedals, hitting buttons on various electronic doo-dads in the name of mechanized musical claustrophobia. When we asked the Reptoid mastermind for a little insight into the song/video in question, he shot back with, “I would say the major concept behind the album is taking a look at the various gods we worship and base our lives upon. Worshiping human greed, monetary wealth, status, celebrity, power, possessions, things we try to use to fill a void we feel within. Ways we try to give ourselves worth by feeling superior to others. Creating systems where we try to become the gods of our own little universes just so we can stand above others and be worshiped ourselves. I would argue that we do these things to cope with the struggle to find meaning and make sense of our lives and our role in the universe but perhaps there is none besides that which we create. I have a somewhat misanthropic view on humanity and I enjoy looking at it from the outside perspective of an alien or other non-human sentient life form.”
Photos by Christopher Sturm
Buy the album here: https://learningcurverecords.bandcamp.com/album/worship-false-gods