Gregg Mcqueen - Rockpile Magazine
Reptilica breaks all the rules on this soundtrack to the bizarre
As the twisted spawn of Ed Creagan, Reptilica breaks all the rules on this soundtrack to the bizarre.
"Caminante" begins with unusual percussion noises and eases in piano and sampled female vocals, then culminates with Sonic Youth-inspired guitar feedback.
"Drive to MN" mixes surfy guitar twang with a droning accordian, while "Autobot" is a funky techno instrumental. No single style is apparent here-clearly, it's anything goes.
Often, Creagan seems to be producing sounds from any noise-making device he can find. Most of what he comes up with is pretty good, though the instrumental tracks are better due to Creagan's often paper-thin voice.
"Eyeball Room" intrigues with astute guitar rhythm, and "Queen of Luxury" emotes a '60's folk feel. Reptilica sounds extremely weird, yet somehow the music all seems to fit together, and repeated listens are assured.
Is Creagan simply some wacko let loose in a studio or an eclectic genius with an innovative knack for blurring musical boundaries? Likely, the answer is a little bit of both.
Tom Pluck - Demorama
This disc drilled into my skull like a Battlebot gone mad
Experimental semi-psychedelic guitar rock. Solid riffs hold the noise
together well. Ever-eclectic and always interesting, this disc drilled into my skull like a Battlebot gone mad. If you don't know what
Battlebots are, go to battlebots.com, and waste a few hours on the net. Just when you've gotten used to the guitar vibe, Ed Creagan --
the man behind Reptilica -- throws you a curve by putting some organ to good use in "Drive to MN," or some Trio-esque (Da da da...)
keyboards and ubergrowl NIN guitar in "Flight 0.8", and "Defuse the Dragon." Overall a great disc: inspirational, listenable guitar-centered
experimental music. Viva la reptile, I'm hoping to see another release sometime soon.
Richard Di Santo
For me the best moments on this disc are the instrumentals
Reptilica is Ed Creagan, and judging from the absence of any other personnel credit (except for
C. Carl on vocals and electric guitar on one track), Creagan is a one-man band of low-fi
experimental rock. Released in late 1999, Chrome Feather Future is Reptilica's debut CD
which is also the inaugural release for the independent record label Lens Records. Inspired by
everyday events, Chicago resident Creagan has created 12 diverse songs "best heard on a
waterbed in the back of a van" (whatever that means!). Mostly the music uses guitars and
drums, with some samplers, electronics and devices. In a vocal style that is sometimes
post-rock-lethargic and sometimes more aggressive, Creagan's lyrics range from expressing
everyday angst and insecurity to more trivial absurdities ("they will make cars from you... use
your heart to pump the fuel" (?)). With the exception of C. Carl's commendable guest
appearance on "queen of luxury", I sometimes became impatient with the vocal tracks, for this
kind of lethargic style is really not to my taste. For me the best moments on this disc are the
instrumentals, such as the more acoustic arrangement of "the rope that leads down" or the
contemplative accordion melody of "drive to MN". But perhaps the best track here is the closing
instrumental "beyond the herd", which is a balanced combination of various musical elements
heard throughout the album, combining a confident rhythm, harsh but non-intrusive electric
guitar and smooth synth sounds to great effect. There's some great potential in this music, and
I am curious to see how Creagan further develops his sound in his follow-up recording which is
now in the works.
Reptilica is, well, different.
Reptilica is, well, different. The musical style is hard to define, as
the tracks on "Chrome Feather Future" at times sound like they are from
completely different bands. This can be attributed to the style in which
the album was constructed. Ed Creagan is Reptilica in much the same way
that Trent Reznor is Nine Inch Nails. Creagan is the only constant
throughout the album.
Therefore, much of the music does come from different sources. Guests
appear on tracks and add their little touches to Creagan's foundations,
inspiring various sounds to emerge. The album has a techno-ambiance feel
overall, but to categorize Reptilica is to ignore much of the freedom
Creagan seems to be fighting for. About half of the tracks contain vocals,
but they are recorded at a volume far below the music, and thus are quite
difficult to decipher. Vocals are treated as just another sound to mix in
with the rest, rather than being the focal point of expression.
Frans De Waard - Vital Weekly
This is one of those things you hear and you are surprised.
This is one of those things you hear and you are surprised. Not necessarily
because it's so damn ok, but because it's it's it's so strange... so much
all over the place in so many areas. Within tracks Reptilica, a.k.a. Ed
Creagan, who has been doing this stuff since 1997, skips from lo-fi'ish
guitar music to hip hop rhythms or starts out by playing the guitar as if
No New York is still the hottest thing. Then a sampled lounge theme, with
opera voice sitting next to guitar, bass and rhythm box. Sometimes I
thought: this can't be true, too much kitsch, too far out, too normal but
it has strange attracting appealing quality. Even when much of this was
still too much normal rock for me, I enjoyed most of it, and for once (?),
it's hard to tell why I like it, where exactly it is that I like it. It's
the variety probably, like listening to 20 years of experimental music
('Flight 0.8' starts out with the good ol' Casio VL tone) summed up in 12
short pieces, with dashes of electronica, guitar and ethnic music.
Certainly more ideas then much else I heard lately, but some could be
skipped and some could be more worked through. Strangely appealing.
David Coleman - No Ripcord
A must for anyone who likes a healthy slice of experimental rock
Reptilica is Ed Creagan. This is his album, and quite an impressive one it is too.
This is also the first record out on Chicago based Lens Records (www.lensrecords.com)
is a must for anyone who likes a healthy slice of experimental rock. "Eyeball Room"
is as weird as the title suggests. Dominated in the whole by a crunchy guitar riff and muttered vocal
it sets the scene nicely for what's to come. "Japanese Vein Device" features a great main riff which
as the song progresses is joined by a whole host of bizarre instruments. Creagan seems to use his voice
like just another background instrument rather than the main one, and it works well here, perhaps only
because the riff is so good. "Autobot" is much of the same. Another nice guitar riff leads the way and
Ed's voice takes a back seat to it once again.
Things get weirder though with "Flight 0.8". A bizarre electronic intro gives way to a messed-up
combination of all sorts of weird instruments. Only here I think has Creagan pushed his experimentation
a step too far. Thankfully it's back to basics for "Deep Sea Friends" - another song built around a recurring
riff, and a rare occasion where we can hear the lyrics. Definitely a highlight. In conclusion, some nice riffs
make this an enjoyable album to listen to, but you've got to be in the right frame of mind for some
experimentation. If you're looking for catchy rock chorus you've got the wrong band...
If you're meaning to concentrate on something else while listening, it's difficu
Whatever the CD title means, that confusion is well-garnished within these dozen alternative,
experimental, rock, noise-induced pieces of furniture. Some are heavy, some are lite,
all are hard to get away. If you're meaning to concentrate on something else while listening, it's difficult.
Titles like 'Queen of Luxury', 'Japanese Vein Device', 'The Rope Leads Down' won't give
any idea what to expect, but crashing into the piano of 'Animal Model' is a good way to begin.
Steel strings randomly plucked with heavy mitts on, then the simple guitar rhythm, the eerie
bug beat, and the lamenting vocals..... It gives one hope that America could also be a part
of the World Music domination, if they were to let things like Reptilica out at night.
This is just freakin' bizarre, man!
If you're looking for something really strange, you will find fulfillment in Reptilica! Honestly, I just don't know where to begin or quite how to size this project up. From what I can gather, it's completely a solo effort by a guy named Ed Creagan. Chrome Feather Future touches on all sorts of styles or lack thereof. Here and there I found Sonic Youth type noise and vocal weirdness. Then I'd hear a bit of audio distortion like I'd expect from NIN. Then there would be little samples of the oddest shit. He utilizes all kinds of instrumentation, even early 80s beat box and (I think) a harpsichord. This is just freakin' bizarre, man!
It's refreshing to hear something this unique
The beauty of Creagan's (Reptilica's) music is its complete
disregard to conforming music standards in popular music - this is original stuff (in fact,
that phrase somehow diminishes the creativity involved in the making of this record).
It's not just original, it's weird, weird and good - and in a sea of sound-a-like music
makers, it's refreshing to hear something this unique.