Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered and mastered by Brian Thorn at The Magic Shop in NYC during CMJ week 2012
With a song such as "Dead End," Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen and Esben Valløe of the Copenhagen, Denmark group Reptile Youth turn what should likely be a personal catastrophe into something much more significant. They turn an issue into an unspeakable breach of a pact one might have felt he or she had with their maker and suddenly offense has been taken and there's no going back. Kristiansen sings, "God, he's a rolling stone/He left me in this mess all alone," and the burden is being thrust right onto the back of the big guy up above - taking the complaint straight to the top.
This personal issue makes the guy feel as if he knows what it might have been like to be Moses, waiting on the mountain "waiting for the truth to be delivered, waiting for the sky to open up." He also knows what it might have been like to feel like Moses, waiting at the end of a dead end, "Waiting for the sea to be divided/Waiting for someone to lead the way." It's all about being backed into a real quagmire that doesn't feel as if it was all his doing. It gives off this sensation of something that was deemed from on high and now they're stuck with shit on their hands, but there's nothing they can do about it now. There's no appeals process.
Kristiansen and Valløe tend to create stories that are filled with absolute value for good and evil filled in, but the scratchings and notes of just where it all came from, just who all was to blame and who's going to help clean up any of these messes all remains to be seen. There's going to be a lot of finger-pointing, but none of it's expected to lead anywhere.
The characters in these songs are going to work themselves red in the face, calling out the hypocrites and others like them, but they're bound to work themselves tirelessly and furiously to a resolution that might or might not resemble the resolution they think they should be handed. Reptile Youth songs seem to focus on the right and the wrong, the good and the bad, but what they usually conclude is that there isn't much difference and the lights are going to color the night as such that you're barely going to be able to tell.
Reptile Youth Official Site