When we last checked in with Yip-Yip, it was busy giving the world some of the most severe, if ultimately forgettable synth headaches of all time. A mere year later, the duo returns with In the Reptile House, and what do they do? The same damn thing! Except, somehow, it’s better now. Sure, these are still synth freak-outs without vocals, but now, they’re a bit more structured, a bit more, dare I say, mature. It’s hard to imagine that the Yip-Yip of Pro-Twelve Thinker could have had the restraint to come up with something as nifty as “Slime Shuns Sun Shine” (go ahead, say it ten times fast), with its legitimately sinister synth line that somehow makes the perfect introduction for a freaky dub workout. “Candy Dinner” (also featured on the CD in video form) is almost catchy in its transitions from new wave to the circus, and the unfortunately titled Richard D. James homage that is “California Fart” actually manages to one-up most of its inspiration’s recent material. In the Reptile House is energetic, dangerous, and well-composed—and this time, you might even remember it when it’s over. As a bonus, it may also make you wish you owned a head-to-toe checkered jumpsuit.
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