I feel like I’ve waited a lifetime for the new Crocodiles record. They always seem to release a record at the right time. This is record number 8, and every record makes you feel like you are listening to the band for the very first time.
Their first record came out in 2009, and if you’ve never listened to their music before- I urge you to spend some time and listen to everything in chronological order. You’ll hear growth but you’ll also fall in love with their distinctive sound. It’s in Brandon’s vocals, it’s in Charlie’s guitar playing- it’s in the bond they have with each other. It’s unlike anything else. 8 records in and there’s nothing and no one quite like them.
Usually when a band I’m a fan of release a few singles before the record comes out, I listen to them over and over. I’ve done it differently with Upside Down In Heaven- prior to the release today, all I had listened to was Degeneration. I wanted everything I heard today to be brand new, and spend my day off work playing it over and over. I’ll be spending many days like this, and just soaking up this record because it’s just unreal.
Could I ever pick my favourite record by Crocodiles? No, but it may depend on the circumstances. I mean, if you threatened to take my cat from me, I definitely could choose. But a passing choice? I have no idea. BUT! Let me tell you, Upside Down In Heaven is a masterpiece. 10 songs and half an hour of unfiltered bliss. The record opens with Love Beyond The Grave and ends with Rock ‘n’ Roll Graveyard- what happens in between is a thing of beauty and pure joy. This record feels like pure joy to me; it’s all I could want and more from a Crocs record. I think Rock ‘n’ Roll Graveyard may be my favourite at the moment, but in a few days’ time I’ll have changed my mind.
I’ve Become What I Fear Most is like a Bukowski novel in song form. It’s lyrically one of my favourite songs ever by Brandon and Charlie, and easily up there with being one of the best songs by them and I could happily play it over and over, all day. This whole record feels like seedy stroll down the backstreets of NYC in the late 70s; it’s incredible. I think it’s one of those records that you’ll turn to for comfort but also, I think these songs are going to absolutely rip when performed live. Every song is just under the 3 and a half minute mark, and of course you’ll want more and more but the wait is definitely worth it with this record and it picks up where Love Is Here left off. That’s something I’ve always loved about the band- every record is a step up from what came before but at the same time you know it’s Crocodiles.
Forever Walk Alone is one of those songs that you’ll play and just instantly connect with; there’s something about Brandon’s vocals on this that you just connect with. They’ve both got this way of making you instantly connect with what you’re hearing. Lovers Of Nothing is a perfect people watching song, then you’ve got this glam rock feel of Magic Trash which reminds me a little of New York Dolls and their gorgeous flamboyant sound. Dead Beat sounds like it could be in a straight to video horror film and you cannot help but become addicted to it.
When a band you love and adore put out a new record it just makes your day, your year. Crocodiles have done it again and I’m just so proud of them and I’m so happy that a label like Lolipop Records have put it out. What I love about Crocodiles is that everything they put out is on their terms- it’s THEIR sound. They don’t compromise or stick with a certain sound in order to be heard. They grow with every record and I hope they continue to put records out when they are pensioners. I can’t imagine them ever stopping. I don’t ever want to.
Upside Down In Heaven is a record that is good for the mind, body and soul. Stick your headphones on, play this record and go for a walk. Absorb every single song and every word, and you’ll hear just how perfect this record is. 10 songs and half an hour of sheer bliss.