The Reputations: Loving Them Is Easy
By Jay Armstrong
There are great bands, great songs, great musicians, great times and then there is The Reputations embodying all of it at once with a presence of such unique power instead of coming off with sterile distance they feel as close warm friends whose optimism pushes you to appreciate the small moments in their adventurous uniqueness always. Mysterious enchantment, levity of purpose, humble-yet-commanding self-respect, the uncontrollable ability to overshadow the world beneath their confidence so as to show us how to see existence in all its darkness and evil and still love it; The Reputations radiate in what would best be called the Stevie Nicks effect. Loving them is easy.
Talented, sure they are, yet the pieces don’t exactly fall into place. A Reputations‘ song isn’t something settling in the language of discourse in which talent often speaks, it is a crafted monument intricately designed. They are the Frank Lloyd Wright of pop seemingly scrapping intelligence for the visceral while calling attention to the secret beauty in how they manage to define themselves by both. Their sound seeps in accessibility. One would expect the tuff rebellious cats to keep a safe distance in self-preservation where instead we find them huddled near the stage anytime they play out. As a kid I remember standing at whatever concert I could convince my parents to take me to where their tastes and mine didn’t clash– Alice Cooper, Styx, Steve Miller, Bon Jovi, Bob Seger, Mellencamp, Bad Company, etc,– The Reputations and their wide net reach remind me of those amphitheaters with the crowds mixed in every demographic imaginable, the way the hours would pass before the headliner taut with tension knowing time and again there would be an argument escalating to violence or at the very least in constant threat of boiling over. Metallica on tour just after the black album came out is the one coming to mind as I type this, where society’s four corner freak shows–county jail all-stars mixing with business casuals and mullet meatheads–found themselves stepping on shoes and rubbing each other the wrong way. Standing on the lawn, “I used to listen to these guys when I was in middle school” types all around me, couples storming off one minute making up the next, shirtless hicks looking to fight, it was as though every aggro dude and white trash sister in the state of Indiana had made it out to the show that night and things were getting uncomfortable. Then the band came on playing as gods and the entire place reached instantly into a cosmic bag of zen and got high on the same drug together for the next hour and a half. The Reputations have had a sound since day one screaming with a similar sort of potential, we are now seeing the sparks take flame before our eyes, the warmth of which we all as a community are helpless to do anything less than warm our weary souls by their fire.
Pick up a copy of their latest album Electric Power, catch them live the first chance you get, The Reputations are as legit in sound and omnipresence as it gets, don’t blow it.
Tonight 12/31 – Cosmic Disco NYE III at Barracuda (611 E 7th Austin,TX)
1/2 – Empire Control Room (606 E 7th St, Austin, TX)
1/3- Cheer Up Charlies (900 Red River Street Austin,Tx)
5/30- Muskelrock på Tyrolen, Blädinge (SE)
6/15 – Sthlm Americana, Stockholm (SE)
– June 2019 European tour dates TBA –