Repo Fam


Repo Fam Venus Fly cassette

This feels a little bit over my head, to be completely honest. It is my opinion that for songs of any genre of music to be memorable, there must be a “hook” of some sort to keep the listener engaged. The definition of a “hook,” in my mind, is incredibly loose, as you can find them in the grimiest of punk music, the most intense of extreme music—they exist truly everywhere. The REPO FAM songs on this cassette almost feel as if any sort of “hook”’ has been intentionally taken out of them, and yet I am still feeling inclined to refer to this as pop music. I’m having a bit of an existential crisis over here about it. Can pop music exist without any semblance of pop sensibility? I don’t know that I have the answer to this question. Listen to these eight songs of avant-garde New York City music yourself and see if you can help me understand.

Repo Fam Whipped Cream EP

I liked this mix of sugary indie pop confections wrapped in gauzy distortion from Baltimore’s REPO FAM. “King of Marvin Gardens” sounds like SONIC YOUTH’S “Beauty Lies in the Eye” with its echoing spoken vocals and hazy strumming. If you’re going to nick the style, go for the best, so no hard feelings here. It’s a great song from a perfect influence. “Psycho Bombs” is a short noise-pop gem with simple catchy melodies and warm lo-fi production. “Whipped Cream” has a slightly atonal guitar/vocal interplay that gives a little art school scrappiness to the bedroom pop. “Here We Come” is a simple and effective garage stomper with the words “Here we come / Join the fun.” It sounds spooky and has some howling (from synth or werewolf, I don’t know) in the background. It’s fun in a stripped-down ’60s garage rock-meets-’90s indie way. If you have a sweet tooth for pop that’s rough around the edges, definitely check out REPO FAM.