Epic Reflexes began as a bedroom recording project singer/guitarist Brad Bartee concocted as a way to kill time while attending film school. After self-releasing a string of inspired lofi rock albums that showcase his talent for melody and lyrical storytelling, drummer Rene Duplantier convinced Bartee to form a band around the project. With Duplantier behind the kit, Sean Weber playing bass, and Adam Vizier on keys, Epic Reflexes has been able to achieve the robust and dynamic sound often hinted at on the early LPs.
Recorded live in the lobby of the band’s practice space, Skin captures the power and energy Epic Reflexes exude on stage while maintaining the raw immediacy of Bartee’s solo efforts. Lead single “Pang ‘88” sets the tone for the album, blending overdriven guitars and sparkling keys over Duplantier’s motorik beat. Bartee’s inflection veers between a capricious yawp and a conversational murmur on “Pang” (sometimes within the same line), and the chorus demonstrates the singer’s knack for crafting casual hooks that stay with the listener long after the song fades away. Skin creates a sustained mood as it introduces the friends, wanderers and ghouls that inhabit its hazy atmosphere, and close listening reveals an intimate world waiting to be discovered in these eight tracks, for those willing to traverse the expanses.