You are listening to Buried on Bandcamp the podcast with your host Taylor.
In this episode of Buried on Bandcamp the podcast, we discuss: Rinse & Repeat, their music, and the stories they tell with it.
Rinse & Repeat is a band that I admittedly don’t know much about. I don’t even know the names of the members of the band. What I do know is that they are a duo from Los Angeles, but that’s about it. Their music is categorized on Bandcamp as punk, synthpunk, new wave, and darkwave. If you’ve listened to my first episode talking about the band Corker, this is one of the bands that I said I liked and was darkwave, which led me to discover Corker. And if you’ve seen my second episode, I mentioned I found Funerol by seeing that they were touring with Rinse & Repeat. So neither of those episodes would’ve existed without Rinse & Repeat! It’s interesting how one thing can lead to another. Honestly, I’d say Rinse & Repeat is one of my favorite bands at the moment, and that’s one of the reasons why.
Now, onto their music. (I’m going to have to go through this a bit quickly since their discography is much larger than those I’ve covered in previous episodes.) Their first EP, Fig. 1, was released on September 20th, 2017. I do think this is their weakest release, but that’s more than forgivable, seeing as it’s their first. Even from their first songs, you can hear the sci-fi inspirations in their work, and it will only become more apparent as time goes on. Raygun Rampage is my personal favorite, but they’re all pretty close. And I feel like Introduction serves as a perfect first song, for both the EP and their discography, for reasons I’ll talk about later. After that, they released a single, Throw the Switch, on November 17th, 2017, and a small EP with two songs; Y2Kme and Name of the Game on January 22nd, 2018.
Then, they released their second full album, titled Fig. 2, on May 1st, 2018. This is, in my opinion, the most lore-packed of their releases. There are lots of key details here, some much more explicit than others. My personal favorite on the album is Creator’s Comet, for packing so much variety into one three-minute song. I also found the bonus song, Again Again, since because it’s only on Bandcamp I didn’t discover it until long after I had initially listened to the album. I like the drum and bass in that song as well.
After that, they released their next album, Fig. 3, not long after on July 9th, 2018. It’s much shorter than the other two and doesn’t have as much explicit lore dumping, but you can tell they’ve improved since their last release. Only three days after that, they released two more songs; Battlecry and The Cycle, both of which are also heavily related to the lore. I really like the former of the two, since it’s so exciting and fun.
Nearly a year later, they released an EP titled Stone Unturned, which was the first release that I’d heard from them. I really like this EP- I don’t think I could choose a favorite song since all of them are so good.
After that, they released a handful of singles throughout 2020 to 2022. There’s Ants, Noise Inside My Ear, You Are Right, Secret World, and Funhouse, in chronological order. My favorites of the bunch are Ants and Secret World. Ants is like two songs in one, drastically changing halfway through, with a bunch of crazy samples and layering sounds. And Secret World is a fantastic song as well, with its heavy synths and amazing electric guitar.
And finally, on June 30th, 2023, they released their most recent- and in my opinion, their best- EP, simply titled “O.” It’s less of an album and more of an experience, honestly. You can really see how much they’ve improved since their beginnings. My favorite song on the EP is easily OS, not to be confused with the name of the EP itself. It’s bouncy, it’s fun, it’s groovy- I’d go as far as to say it’s one of my favorite songs ever at the moment. It’s incredible, and so is the rest of “O.”
Now, what was that lore I mentioned before? As it turns out, Rinse & Repeat not only makes great music, they tell a story with their music as well. In Rinse & Repeat’s universe, there exists a type of bacteria called Cyclites. These pesks enter the brains of humans and infects and corrupts their minds so dopamine is only released when the same repeated cycles and processes of life are performed, so they only want to repeat only the same processes for the rest of their lives. This makes it so the infected individual cannot naturally progress and develop normally. And since there’s a whole epidemic of these bacteria, humanity is slowly being exterminated by the invasion. Luckily, there’s a solution. Two men from the “Sud Sector” of the galaxy, aptly called “Suds,” have discovered what they call Worble Wobble frequencies that counteract the work of the Cyclites. They hide these frequencies in their music, and they are the only thing that can stop the degragation of the minds of humanity. And wouldn’t you know it- those two Suds happen to be Rinse & Repeat! Their music contains a lot of allusions to this plot, ranging from direct explanations like in Chanel Sud News and Worble Wobble to clips of conversations and such about it like in Engage and Battlecry, to general themes of repetition and breaking the cycle like in Secret World and Scroll Patrol. I know it may sound ridiculous as I explain it to you, and that’s because it is pretty ridiculous, admittedly. But the unabashed, unapologetic silliness of it all is what really makes it great. Honestly, I think it’s genius how they incorporate this lore and these themes into their music- and it certainly helps that the music alone is also great. The two aspects combined really make Rinse & Repeat one of my favorite bands.