“I’m a stranger in the holy land,
But I keep my strangeness close at hand.”
I compare most (music based) things to how I felt the first time I ever heard Garbage, The Cure, The Smiths and The Jesus And Mary Chain. If I don’t feel slightly corrupted, violated or thrown into some kind of trance- then I hold no hope of ever being a fan. I need to feel something so strange, brutal and beautiful all at once when listening to a band, especially with music. I’d say I know what this makes me, but I really don’t. Aside from being weird, that’s all I can take from this. Then again, we cannot define “normal” because it is just a social ideal that doesn’t exist. It is there to make most of us hate ourselves. If you hate yourself a bit, then it’s okay. You know why? Because there’s probably more us that carry a touch of self-hate around than there are of us that actually like, let alone love ourselves. Feel the fury, feel the frustration. Maybe one day I’ll write a book. I won’t. That’s just another thing I’ll never do. So with this stale introduction to a band that are the opposite, I’m going to try put into words as to why I am in love with Crocodiles and have been for the past 3 and a half years.
It all started with feeling low. It started with feeling so low whilst in a shop that sold albums, and stuff. I was going through anything. Everything. To find an album that could possibly get rid of this feeling. You know the feeling, the “love of your life” ends things with you for the final time and you get summoned back to your mother’s because she thinks you’ll go off the rails. Thing is, as fucked up as I felt inside- I did pretty damn well. I turned to music, and let it do the healing. I bought two records that day. One by Cold Cave, the other by Crocodiles. I’d heard of both bands before- and the artwork to both records drew me in. Simply powerful. I went home and played them. Whatever took me over that day made me feel better than anything else possibly could. They say you don’t forget your first love. I say in time, you forget certain things. Or you do the wise thing and don’t ever think about it because clinging onto the past will harm you in so many ways. I don’t understand people who cling onto the past you know? You get your heart broken, you get on with life. I managed to do that when I bought these two records. Both records allowed me to free myself from this cloud of misery I thought would stay with me forever. Basically, I grew up.
I found something in Crocodiles that I reckon those who were around when The Jesus And Mary Chain first started found. That feeling of, being sucked into something so dark and sinister- it gives you comfort. As person, you are told to never feel anything dark. Hell, most would rid us of emotions if they could. With Crocodiles (and TJAMC) they just sucked me into this world of all things dark. I wanted to do nothing but listen to them all the time. I’d walk to work, play Crocodiles. I’d go to the gym, play Crocodiles. Read, play Crocodiles. They weren’t just part of a healing process I had to drag myself through, but they showed me a world I could create that no one could ever touch. They opened a part of me up that was so fucking reserved and miserable They killed that part of me, and helped me become the person I probably should’ve been much sooner. Things take time.
I’m fully aware that I’ve gone disgustingly personal with this, but you’ll never meet me probably. Anyone who knows me will never read this. You’ve already made up your mind. If you think I’m an ass, you may be right. You may be wrong. We all have good days, we all have bad days. I may dress in all black and look like a moody bitch. Truth is, I laugh at most things. Mainly myself though. Pay people no mind. What’s the point. Through being a fan of Crocodiles, I learnt to stop caring what a person thinks about me. I learnt that I have to do things my way. Music sets parts of you free that people try to restrain. I’m not one for actually listening to what I’m told to do. I rarely ask for advice. If I’m going to fuck up, I’m doing it on my own. I am not taking anyone down with me.
Summer Of Hate gave me this confidence and belief to carry on. I’d just finished Uni and, I had no idea what to do with my life. I graduated 3 years ago, and I think I’m sure of what I want to do. It’s just making it happen, which is proving to be a pain in every part of me. I’m tougher than I think, so I won’t give up. Move on a year later, and Sleep Forever comes out. The exact same feelings hit me again. Creepy vibes and sinister trances. I think it was obvious by this point that Crocodiles were becoming more than just a band to me. The romanticism in their music gives me hope. They talk about life and love the way not many of us see it. Which is why I love them so much; they say everything I feel without me having to open my mouth. I only open my mouth to sing along. I remember hearing Mirrors, and even now it still gives me such a euphoric feeling. That feeling of knowing, you can amount to something. That what you’re doing is right- so fuck anything and anyone who tries to tell you no, and that you ain’t worth shit. Girl In Black is one of my favourite love songs ever. I’m going to put it right next to Lovesong by The Cure. It is THAT heartfelt and honest. The longing in Brandon’s voice is so beautiful. You also hear a wonderful sense of poetry that is greeted with so much sensitivity in the song, Sleep Forever : “I will love you til the sky above you. Shatters over you and me. And lays us down to sleep forever.” That is what REAL and unconditional love is. We should never fear feeling it or giving it out.
Writing this is easy, which is probably why it may not read so well. I’m putting most of what I have right now into this. I’m not sure why. Sleep Forever is much darker than Summer Of Hate. The lyrical content is quite ghoulish. The music compliments the desperation in Brandon’s voice so beautifully. You feel traumatised, you feel as if you are about to tip over the edge- and for some, this is a daunting thing to feel. The best thing you can do when you are faced with any fear, is to just kick it right in the face. Face it head on, and make it your bitch. Simple. Although, it can be easier said than done.
Real soon, their third record is going to come out- Endless Flowers. I honestly cannot tell you how excited I am for this. I am ready for what they have to offer. You see, Crocodiles are another sacred band of mine. I don’t have any friends that listen to them at all. I don’t know if I could listen to them with anyone, I’d probably be a bit hurt if they didn’t connect to them like I do. You cannot please everyone, and I stopped trying a long time ago to do so. Crocodiles are one of the very few bands that helped me toughen up a bit. I should probably feel like an idiot for being this open. Whatever. Crocodiles are worth it. Oh, and they fully fuel (and justify) my love for bands from California.
There are so many things that drew me in to Crocodiles. They have this amazing 60s girl group feel in their production. Then you have this wonderful merge of something reverby and psychedelic going. They just combine everything I love about music, and make something that blows my mind with every single listen. I’d call it soulful too. What Crocodiles mean to me is exactly what Dum Dum Girls mean to me, what The Kills mean to me and what Warpaint mean to me. All have created sounds that make you so glad to be alive. Sure the music can get dark, but through the dark you always find hope. And when you find hope, you MUST..you MUST hold onto it.
Give the people hell, and smile.