There are some bands that repeat themselves with every record they make. Their blandness is what some may be drawn to and keeps them “loyal” but there are some bands who not only exceed any expectations one may have of them, but they also manage to come out with something hugely different to what they’ve done before. There are a few bands I love that fall into this category, and they’re ones that I’ll continue to write about because it’s just bloody wonderful to hear what they’re going to do next.
12th May is the release date for my pals new record. Crocodiles are finally releasing their fifth record Boys. Everything I am going to write about this record is just my biased opinion, and if I were you I’d just buy the record and sack off anything I may say because it’ll just be an enthusiastic ramble. But if you’re into that kind of thing, let’s be friends and go into this together.
I did want to do this as a track-by-track review but I don’t really like doing them because it’s so structured, and I don’t like any form of organisation.
For me, the record sounds like it has stemmed from the roots of depravity in the back streets of New York in the 70s when Punk was slowly but surely getting some attention. In all the right places, Crocodiles have picked up on the smuttiness and wit in the likes of Transformer and Sally Can’t Dance. They’ve also got something Iggy Pop-esque flowing around Kool TV. Last year when they played Hackney Wonderland, I remember them performing some new tracks and Foolin’ Around was one that really stood out. The bassline is slick as the one on Groove Is In The Heart. This record is sordid and brilliant. If this record was a place, it would be a camp dive bar in the underbelly of Mexico city. It makes the uneasy feel alright in their skin. Crybaby Demon sounds like something that The Stone Roses could have easily put out. It’s got something really special about it that just cements the idea that Crocodiles are probably the best around.
There’s a song that I need to do a special mention on. Blue is probably the best song that they’ve done to date. Every record they’ve put out has one song on it that towers a little over the rest. It’s just over 3 and a half minutes long, but it feels like a lengthy and satisfying daydream. It’s the perfect song to drift away to as the sun sets, you just gaze into nothing in particular and Brandon’s hazy voice sends you on this gorgeous trip. Charlie enhances the dream with the whirling guitar sounds that flow in and out of your ears. It is my personal favourite from Boys, and easily in my top 3 songs by Crocodiles. I would happily write a massive essay on the song, and when you listen to it next month you’ll see exactly why. A gorgeous song that you just have to keep going back to. You zone out properly to this one.
Although the record was done in Mexico, it feels like something from Iggy, Bowie and Lou’s take on Berlin. It’s got that something about it that just feels really familiar and comforting, but then there are songs that just feel like something you’ve never experienced before. There are many bands that are doing weird and wonderful things, but Crocodiles take it some place else. More than anything, I wish these guys were credited more for their lyrics. Their lyrics are bouts of depraved prose and thoughts to expand the mind.
Boys consists of songs you would hear in an underground drag bar in the depths of New York, Mexico, London…anywhere and everywhere. They are songs to lure in a lover at 2am when everyone is being spilled out into the street or to just throw your limbs about to (go nuts to Foolin’ Around, Hard and Do The Void.)
Writing about a band like Crocodiles is easy because they make every release as interesting as the last. Each record feels like hearing them for the first time. The first time I heard their music was back in 2009. I moved back home after being dumped, wandered into HMV and saw the cover of Summer Of Hate staring at me. I didn’t know anything about them, but I picked it up along with Love Comes Close by Cold Cave. I turned one of the worst feelings possible into something I could handle. I found two bands who have since become the world to me. The thing about Crocodiles that I love the most is that they make me feel like I am anywhere but where I am. I don’t feel like I’m in 2015; I feel like I’m in the 70s watching Punk win over hearts and guiding those who are fed up. Crocs are a mix of all the stuff I love and things I’ve never heard before. They bring all these insane sounds together and make something that is worth treasuring.
I’ll say it’s their best record until number 6 comes out, you know how it is. If you’ve yet to experience the world of Crocs, then let Boys be the one that seduces you, let it be the one that you cheat on other bands with. And in time, it will go from being your bit on the side to the love of your life.
Crocodiles start their US tour in 3 days time, and will be coming over to Europe in June. Personally, I’m massively excited to see them in Manchester as part of the Manchester Psych Fest along with July (this is fucking HUGE.) I’ve always wanted to see them in Manchester, and with July also?! Oh man who needs Christmas!
Boys is out via Zoo Music on the 12th May and is produced by the incredible Martin Thulin. And yes, it is my record of the year.