On the surface, Reptaliens’ FM-2030 appears to be a more conventional-sounding indie pop type album: it’s clean, dreamy, overall a pleasant experience for the ears. And this is not wrong here. The album features wonderful guitar tones that float and bounce as well as tight baselines that give this poppier album a classically funk feel. The vocals from lead singer and half of the married duo that makes up Reptaliens, Bambi Browning are not to go unnoticed. Even her name, Bambi, can be a possible indicator of the unconventional aspects of this album.
The lead single of the album was “If You Want.” When those words are said in the song, they are followed by “to get high/ Find your love get it right,” which speaks very much to the lyrical content of this album. FM-2030 contains many psych, spacey and weird lyrics that intertwine with themes of love. For example, track four is the song “666 Bus,” which contains Browning wondering, “Maybe I’ll get hit by a bus, while I was dreaming of falling in love,” a prime juxtaposition that is featured on many tracks on FM-2030.
The height of the album seems to be when Bambi and Cole Browning are crafting more fun tracks, but that is not to say that the more relaxed songs are unenjoyable. A track that comes to mind is track eight, “Butter Slime,” which has a dreamy feel, summed up quite well when Bambi sings, “Getting high and floating asleep on the couch/ got a room full of mushrooms so I lock up my house.” Many of the themes of the album, as previously described, discuss weird psych-y topics like taking mushrooms at home that can drag a little as the album goes on discussing similar topics.
The lyrical content and themes of the song don’t make the overall album distinct. The more enjoyable aspects of this album include the sonic nature in that sounds good instrumentally. Along with this, several of the tracks, such as “29 Palms,” “Simulation,” “666 Bus” or “Forced Entry,” featured melodies that are pleasing to the ears. They are filled with pop style hooks constructed by dreamy instrumentation eager to draw in listeners.
Reptaliens’ FM-2030 is a uniquely weird and quirky album but not to the extent that it is inaccessible to most listeners. While many of the songs contain more unusual lyrical themes, on the surface the instrumentation offers the pleasant sounds that are typical enough to be enjoyed by most indie listeners, but not so normal to come off as vanilla or boring. That being said, there are not too many superb highs on this album but there truly aren’t many low points either. This album instead drifts along pleasantly throughout and could be enjoyed from the beginning to the end. A small pleasant treat with several gem qualities that make the album a weird and worthwhile listen.