METRO VERLAINE: Cut-Up.

16 03 2018

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France is home to some of my favourite musicians such as Dusty Mush and Dr Chan. It was the home to one of the greats, Serge Gainsbourg. The king of song-writing. It is also home to one of the best new (ish) bands around- Metro Verlaine.

Their record Cut-Up came out today, and I have been waiting for a long time to hear this record. It is produced by the wonderful human that is Charlie from Crocodiles. You can hear his influence slightly in this record, and it is a brilliant thing. The record is loud in all the right places and it is perfectly created.

It is truly an exceptional record that just doesn’t get old. Everything about Cut-Up is so effortlessly powerful and just mind-blowing.

For me, it is always about the build up to a record that summons my interest. I’ve watched their progress with this record on various social media platforms, and it really does look like the band and Charlie had such fun making this record. That comes through on the songs, even on songs like Hate- which is really great and brutal. I feel a lot of love for the song Manchester. Probably because I’m moving there next week!

Some of the songs are sung in French, and for the most part I don’t know what’s going on. But I don’t care! It sounds so beautiful. The vocals are full of this determination and passion, and the way it comes through with everything that’s going on in the songs is amazing. I truly cannot get enough of this record. I love how I can hear influences from bands I love, and bands that Metro Verlaine love in the songs. At times you can hear the heaviness of Joy Division. At times you can pick up on the eeriness of The Cure and there is something about The Stone Roses that flows throughout. I think it’s the connection between them all, and this steady rhythm that flows through the record.

I really hope Metro Verlaine tour this record, and bring it to the UK. There is something really special about this record that makes you want to experience it in a live setting. I think the song Ballade Sauvage is one of the songs that just HAS to be witnessed live. There is something so passionately dark about this song. It’s got this ethereal build up within it and it takes over the mind, soul and body. And whatever else you’ve got for the taking. Crocodile is a song that I can’t wait to see live too. It’s got this really raw feel to it, and you feel like you’re being smacked in the face over and over. But it feels good. You want them to keep doing it over and over again. Until your body and soul feel exhausted. You’re just a sucker for the music, man!

It’s a record you can enjoy in any setting. You can blast it as loud as possible whilst at home, you can have it ringing in your ears as you wander the streets. However loud you want to play it and wherever you want to play it, it’ll just make you feel good. It’s such a fantastic record, and with each listen there is definitely more and more to love about it. Cut-Up is a record that I know I am going to keep going back to. It sounds like something from the past but also something from the future that we are unaware of yet.

It has such a special and unique feel to it. It’s loud in all the right places, it has tender moments when needed. It’s like a sleepy Sunday afternoon- you just don’t want this record to ever end.





DUM DUM GIRLS/CROCODILES. Scala. 1st May 2014.

3 05 2014

 

Live music is a powerful thing; seeing your two favourite bands live on the same night is truly something else. You don’t always think it will happen, but when it does you immediately feel part of something. And as an unsure and uncomfortable 27-year-old, I can safely say that music makes me feel part of something. I’m not sure what, but it’s just me and some music. I guess it’s not really anything at all, but we cling onto what we have because we’ve been without for so long.

Before the show I interviewed Dee Dee in the toilets backstage and we shared some whiskey. I’ll write it up over the weekend, when I feel like I am able to do so. It’s one thing to have a quick photo with a band you admire but it goes beyond words when you get to talk to them for half an hour about their music, Patti Smith amongst other things. I’ve spent part of today wishing I had asked Dee Dee some other things, but maybe next time. Who knows.

Both bands are very dear to me, and to finally see them live together was a beautiful experience. Crocodiles set was just Charlie and Brandon, just like how they first started. I never got to see them live as a duo, so this was really special. What did it for me was Jet Boy Jet Girl, a cover song originally done by Elton Motello. The song oozes sexual decadence and sinister wit, themes which sometimes flow through songs by Crocodiles. A brilliant cover and sounds even better live. They even played one of my favourites from Sleep Forever; Hollow  Hollow Eyes. Their shows as a duo is equally as passionate and as bold as it is with a full band, and for me it was a pleasure to witness live as I fell in love with their sound back in 2009 when they were still performing as a duo. It was honestly like falling in love with your favourite band all over again. I’m fairly sure I could have worded it better, but if you were there and you love them as much as I do- then you’ll know exactly what I mean.

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Watching Charles play the guitar is totally mesmerising, he just makes you wish you could hold a guitar and play it in the most brutal way possible. Throw Brandon’s haunting voice in there, and you’ve got a solid duo that have a sound that towers over the mundane shit you are exposed to. Crocodiles music really comes to life when you see them live. They are quite simply, a band you’ve got to see live. Brandon and Charlie make you want to find a like-minded individual and make your own noise; it’s never too late. Remember that. It’s so good to see both of them lose themselves in the music; Charles throws his guitar about and Brandon gloriously flails his limbs on stage. I just love their sound.

photo 1*My photo but not my hand.

I don’t know where to begin when writing about Dum Dum Girls, but they take to the stage and open with the gripping Mine Tonight. End Of Daze was (and of course still is) a truly beautiful EP. An EP that makes you want more and more from the band, but is also the perfect way to follow-up on previous releases. The setlist from their Scala show was nothing short of perfect; from the enthusiasm that echoes throughout Bedroom Eyes to the sheer romanticism flowing through Rest Of Our Lives. What I adore about Dum Dums is that when you see them live, you really do witness a band that love what they do, and of course, they love each other. The thing Dee Dee wanted the crowd to take from this show (and the rest of the tour) is love. Love for each other, for their fans and for what they do. As you watch them on stage each of them fall into the music in their own way. Malia moves freely on the stage with the bass, Sandy beats the shit out of the drums and leaves you in awe of how someone can play like that, Andrew sways at the back in an angelic fashion (and has beautiful hair), Jules smiles at the crowd as she sees those who are really feeling the songs and Dee Dee prowls the stage like a wild cat. Each of them lure you in with their sheer passion for what they do. If you don’t love what you do, then don’t do it.

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Like Crocodiles, Dum Dums are a band I would (and won’t) ever grow tired of seeing live. The way the songs come to life on stage is enough to make you have a little cry. I’m not ashamed to admit I got teary eyed during Are You Okay (it’s the “I’m reckless at night, I’m sorry for days”line that really hits me in the heart) and of course, the last song of the night Coming Down does something to me that not many songs do. Anyone who has heard this song knows which part exactly that does something to them. As soon as Dee Dee hits that high note, you feel weak but also a wave of strength hits you. Coming Down is a song I turn to when everything just seems askew, and to finally witness it live and to sing it back to the band is a gorgeous experience. If you’re going to do a review of a show, you might as well put your all into it. I really don’t get why you wouldn’t. I wish I had the money to have gone to more than one show, because they really are one of the strongest bands I have seen live. To see them lose themselves in the music and to bring it all to life is nothing short of inspirational.

photo 1(1)*Again, not my hands!

One thing I have noticed (okay so I’ve only seen them twice) is that those who attend a Dum Dums show make for a lovely crowd. There is no dickish or loutish behaviour. People are there for the most important thing; the music and the love for it.

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WARTIME.

3 03 2014

 

 

They say you can always find a positive in any bad thing that happens. From a break-up to death, there is always some good to come out of it. At times this is easy to see, but for the most part it is just another empty cliché to get you through the day. You can decide for yourself what it will be, there is no right or wrong.

As you know, I’m a huge fan of Crocodiles. I love Brandon’s side project with his wife Dee Dee as Haunted Hearts. Charles’ project with his partner, Hollie Cook- Psychic Dancehall was brilliant. His new project, Wartime was originally to be with him and a close friend of his. Sadly and unexpectedly, his friend took his own life. The project is now Charles on his own. A sense of healing is in the song Wartime Won’t Let Me- if you didn’t know the story behind the project you may not be as sentimental towards it. Yet when you find out, you truly gain more respect and appreciation for what Charlie has done. When something bad happens, it is just easier to turn away from it all. There is a lot of courage in this side project of Charles.

He has wonderfully sampled the drums from an underrated Iggy Pop song, Horse Song which is taken from the equally underrated (and strange) Zombie Birdhouse. Anyone who has seen Crocodiles play knows how enthralling it is to watch Charlie slay the guitar. If you’re looking for a band that play with EVERYTHING they have and more, go see a Crocodiles show. Charles just goes some place else when that guitar is in his hands and these electrifying sounds just pour out. This is exactly the case with Wartime- the passion is there on Wartime Won’t Let Me. This is for those who have a place in their hearts reserved mainly for the weird and wonderful.

The 8 track cassette, Graffiti Dogs (Ku Ku)  is available for pre-order on the brilliant Art Fag label, and you can get your grubby hands on a copy right here: http://artfagrecordings.blogspot.co.uk/

Stream the song Wartime Won’t Let Me here: https://soundcloud.com/art-fag-recordings/wartime-wont-let-me

To end this, I feel the best way is from a quote by Charles from an entry taken from Brooklyn Vegan. He puts is beautifully and to the the point:

“This tape was written solely for the purpose of helping me cope with my close friend’s death. His spirit lives on. I am certain.”





CROCODILES-Crimes Of Passion.

22 05 2013

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“Sacred hearts are bursting in the chest of every person that I meet.”

 

I came home from the gym. Threw my bag on the floor and was set to go through the daily gruelling process of looking for jobs and a reason to keep going at it. I checked my emails, what do I see? A promo copy of Crocodiles new record. Today is also my hero, Morrissey’s birthday. Today is a good day. These two things are just magical. I have things to do, and I don’t wish to do them. Not until I’ve written about the year’s best record.

Crimes Of Passion is Crocodiles fourth record. Each record of theirs has always had a lot of sentimental value to me. Summer Of Hate got me through a bad year, Sleep Forever summed up my life at that point and Endless Flowers just reminds me of my girlfriend. In short, I guess you could say Crocodiles music has dragged me through all the bad to finally someone, something good. That’s just how I see it. So what could Crimes Of Passion mean to me? Well to start with, everything.

The record starts with the glorious I Like It In The Dark. This is a song that should be played at all house parties, full of debauchery and the desire to commit some sins.  I held no expectations when I pressed play; I knew immediately that I was going to hear a record that was going to make my tummy flip and my heart beat faster- this record is just like falling in love repeatedly with the same person, regardless of how long you’ve been with them, all over again. I Like It In The Dark is the start of a hazy journey through psychedelic bliss. The start of the week saw them give us a taste of their record by streaming Cockroach. The bold tones of this song remains throughout the whole record but there are some gloriously dreamy sounds on Crimes Of Passion. She Splits Me Up and Me And My Machine Gun have such a beautiful daydream feel to them. They make you feel as if you are in the most secure of states; nothing and no one can touch you. Their first two records were quite wild, but since Endless Flowers their sound seems still rambunctious at times but being such a fan I am- I really really love this sound. They are like very few bands that are around who make different sounding records each time. Look at how drastic The Horrors sound was from Strange House to Primary Colours and to Skying. Look at how bands like The Kills have changed with each record. When I band keep repeating what they do, then it becomes a bore. I firmly stand by the Crocodiles being one of the most exciting bands around. Trust in Zoo Music kids, trust in it.

I’m in no position to tell you what the best songs are on Crimes Of Passion, I can only simply tell you that this is a remarkable record from start to finish. The songs are full of lust (Marquis De Sade– he was a French writer/philosopher who was sexually free with his words; a bit a genius for sure. Check out his work) and the songs are full of rage (Cockroach.) The songs are full of subjects many shy away from because they just cannot do it. The thing is, Crocodiles free you. They say the things you are too shy to say. Much like Morrissey has been doing for years. If you’re prone to drifting towards the dark things in life, then Crocodiles will be the ones who make music that just sums up those feelings and desires you try to hide.

Crocodiles make the weakest of people feel tough. Listening to them is a sacred experience. As you place your earphones in, strut down the street listening to them- you feel incredibly untouchable. I think this is how people felt when they first heard Velvet Underground. The posses the cool vibe of Lou Reed and the gentle poetry in their words which is found in the likes of literary geniuses such as Wilde, Verlaine and Ted Hughes. Basically, they are romantic with their words and how the music is equally as romantic. As I listen to Crimes Of Passion over and over, I can truly feel my heart being owned by Me And My Machine Gun. I want to say it is 2013’s version of No Black Clouds For Dee Dee but that song is in a different league. It’s the purest of love songs; the ultimate love song.

If you’ve ever seen Crocodiles live you will see that they play with such passion and fury. I’ve only seen them once, last year at Rough Trade. I was mesmerised by how Charles plays. You just watch this transformation happen, you see it in all of them. I remember my eyes being fixated on Charles when they played Mirrors. Certain moments kids, certain moments. Crocodiles are the trigger to a lifestyle full of rambunctious thoughts and the desire for something more. Excuse my language, but Crimes Of Passion is fucking incredible.

I cannot write how other Music Writers do. I cannot remove myself from being a fan, I really can’t. I don’t know if it is a good thing or bad thing. All I know is that, when you know a band have made a record with all they have it is important, if you’re going to write about it- you put your all into it too. There is so much more I want to say about Crimes Of Passion but to be honest, the record speaks for itself. If you want songs that make you want to be pure again, but knowing you cannot be (Virgin) or if you want songs to just wander the streets to (Un Chant D’Amour I’d like to add that this is the perfect song to just lay on the grass, close your eyes and let the sun beat on your eyes; and to just fall in love to) then Crimes Of Passion has it all. It is easy to adore every single song on this record. I’m beyond proud to be a fan of Crocodiles. Their music is like a cloak of armour, a badge of honour.

Crimes Of Passion is out 19th August on Zoo Music. Go to your local record shop and buy this record. The band is heading out on tour in the UK near the same time :

25-Aug UK Glasgow Broadcast
26-Aug UK Edinburgh Sneaky Petes
 28-Aug UK Leeds Brudenell Social Club
29-Aug UK Manchester The Ruby Lounge
 01-Sep UK Larmer Tree End of the Road
03-Sep UK Brighton Sticky Mike’s





CROCODILES-Cockroach.

20 05 2013

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“You left a trail of scum.”

When one of your favourite bands put out a new song, it certainly improves everything. By everything, I truly mean everything. My life revolves around music so this new song by Crocodiles has made me pretty happy.

Crocodiles pretty much make music that I wish I could make, however I am entirely musically null and void. I cannot do a thing but listen to music and write about it. That’s all I can ever do. So when Crocodiles put their new song up, I just had to write about it. It’s going to be rushed because I have to go out (I know, even I’m surprised I’m going somewhere other than the gym.)

Crocodiles have this ferocious and bloody brilliant rambunctious style that fills you with an Arthur Rimbaud style of rebellion inside. They make you feel as if you’ve discovered something menacing but gorgeous. Cockroach is a prime example of that. Their songs are a mixture of love, devotion, rage and despair. They’ve written some of the best love songs and they’ve also written the best “fuck you’s” of all time. They have a gang feel to their sound which is found in the likes of the New York Dolls to Wu Tang Clan- what I’m getting at is, they make you feel part of something. I’ve been a fan since the start, and how I feel in love with them was as I was trying to fall out of love with a person. They helped and they cured. They do this on a constant basis. They’re the first band I turn to. I play them when I have to walk through hell or when I just need to hear words that make a lot of sense. They’re not just a band.

I was excited when I saw the photos of Brandon and Charles in the studio recording their fourth record, but after hearing Cockroach I have every bit of faith that Crimes Of Passion is going to be the best record of the year. Last year Endless Flowers was the best record I heard, so I am more than willing to declare Crimes Of Passion the same.

They have their signature sound of making you wanting to thrash your body around. Making you nod your head so it looks like you’re about to snap your neck. You just have to play it loud and move in the most ridiculous way possible. Their new record is produced by one half of The Raveonttes (Last Dance is a beautiful love song, go listen) Sune Rose Wagner. Everything about Crocodiles is enough to drag you through the mundane to find your own piece of heaven. Cockroach is going to be an anthem amongst fans. Sung with everything we all have; it’s just excellent.

In a few days they are announcing a tour of Europe and the UK. I’ll be there. Even if I have beg, steal and/borrow-I will be there. Singing the songs that mean the world to me. Cannot wait.

In the meantime you can stream Cockroach here: http://stereogum.com/1354862/crocodiles-cockroach-stereogum-premiere/mp3s/

This is the kind of song to make you not care for anything else in that moment. It will give you that tough attitude you wish you naturally possessed. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t mastered it, Crocodiles will give you the armour you need to act like someone nobody should ever fuck around with. There aren’t many bands who do this, especially now. I’d obviously quite happily write a thousand more words on how excellent this song is, but I think in 3 minutes and 1 second Crocodiles have pretty much justified why you need to pay even more attention to them.





Crocodiles: Rough Trade. The Wait And Beyond.

13 09 2012

“I can piss away my cash, my time I can’t get back.”

My love for Crocodiles is on a par with my love for The Cure, Morrissey and hugs. Since 2009 they’ve been a solid source of comfort, and an outlet for any frustration I may encounter. Last Tuesday they played a free gig at Rough Trade. I extended my trip in England basically so I could see them. During that week some amazing things happened. Seeing Crocodiles and another thing (it’s personal, so shush) was basically my highlight and improved this year.

I don’t want to talk about the free gig, I want to talk about how when you wait for something for so long- that moment when it is finally yours, well no one can take it from you. Nothing can reach you. You feel invincible and as if you can take on the world. The music is your cape, cloak the world with your power.

I’ve already written about how my love for Crocodiles started, and how they dragged me through what I thought at the time-was a really bad patch. Turns out, I’ve gone through worse and I’m still here (sorry to those who hate that.) Their music for me goes beyond anything else. When I saw them last week, I just felt an explosion of being content with everything. I guess I had to because I spent £5 on a Jameson & coke in a bar beforehand and it cost me £5. London, sort out your whiskey prices please. I love you, but this is going to cause tension.

This year, after waiting since 2005 to see them- I saw The Horrors. After waiting 3 years, I finally saw Crocodiles. I guess this year, for all the things I have waited for- they finally happened. Music is pretty much the centre of my tiny universe. It keeps me going. It gives me what I need to carry on. My love for Crocodiles is something I cannot put into words. I chickened out of going up to Brandon and Charles to tell them how much it meant to me to see them. I suppose I didn’t want to seem like some creepy fool. I’m nearly 26, not 14- but I had a bit of fear. I guess when you’ve been in awe of a band for so long, it is a bit daunting. However, they’re not assholes so I guess if I blurted out “YOUR MUSIC KEEPS ME SANE” I’m pretty sure they’d be okay with that. But anyway. Next time. Hopefully.

For me it was hearing All My Hate And My Hexes Are For You and No Black Clouds For Dee Dee that just made me insanely happy. They are two songs right now that mean the world to me. I obviously have a lot of love for I Wanna Kill, and the first verse of that song means more to me than I can get my head around. To see them play to about 30 people (there may have been more, I wasn’t really paying the crowd attention) was just perfect. It may not have been a full set, but I didn’t care. For those 45 minutes or so, I got to see one of my favourite bands ever.

When you wait for something, no matter what it is and you finally have it. Whether it be seeing a band, a record finally coming out, being with that one person who doesn’t make you feel every kind of ugly-anything. When you have that moment, no matter how long or short it is- you cling onto it for the rest of your time here. That moment just stays with you, and when you are alone- it makes the time pass quicker. You remember parts of it, and you carry on; carrying the memory with you.

Music has the power to change everything. To be everything. Last Tuesday, I felt that more than ever. I closed my eyes, sang along and swayed. It was like I was the only person in the room with Crocodiles. Every so often I caught a glimpse of the crowd and didn’t see many people singing, but I say a few sway their bodies. Truly feeling the music in their bones.

If by some strange stroke of luck they see this; Brandon and Charles, thank you. Not just for last Tuesday but for the music. For always, and forever. Thank you is all I’ve got.





Crocodiles-Endless Flowers.

4 06 2012

“..and they have fallen in love with you.”

You don’t understand how much I have been wanting this record. You just don’t. If you did, I’d probably want us to be best friends so we can bond over this. Seriously, I feel like the wait for this record has gone on for what seems FOREVER. Although, forever doesn’t exist. It is just an illusion we present to others in order to give them hope or comfort. Truth be told, we are going to be left behind and we will all do the leaving at some point too. Cheerful mood tonight! (I’m not really in a shit mood, but I would like to go to  sleep right about now.)

Crocodiles are one of my favourite bands. You know it, they know it. I seriously cannot put into words how much I smiled (and most likely swore) when I saw Brandon had read what I wrote a few weeks ago. His kind words mean so much to me, and I carry them with me. When you can tell a band how much you love them, and they are so kind to you- that’s when you fully know your love for them goes beyond. I discovered Crocodiles in a heartbreaking haze and my desperate days were dragging. I listened to them, and all hope came back. No desperation, no longing for all that was metaphorically dead and gone. I found romanticism in the shit feelings I was carrying around. How I immediately felt towards Crocodiles is how I imagine many felt when they first heard The Jesus And Mary Chain. All the reverb and distortion that was soothing my ears and healing my heart made me kick my frustrations and love based hurt to the curb and move on. Always thank the ones who metaphorically break you- because you turn into a better person.

Summer Of Hate and Sleep Forever are two fantastic records that I hold with such high regard. Not just for the emotional attachment I have, but for how bloody brilliant they are. Are Brandon and Charles geniuses?! I think so. I bloody well think so. So, with two phenomenal records to their name- what on earth can they achieve with Endless Flowers?

Endless Flowers is surprise surprise, PERFECT. I’d never write a bad review. I don’t have it in me to do so. If it is bad, I leave it alone and never acknowledge. I love writing about something that is so passionate, dark yet hopeful. I love music that makes you feel like you are not here. I love music that just makes you come alive. I love music that makes you connect with it in a way that makes you want to have some kind of outburst and tell everyone about it. My thoughts on this record aren’t as important as some hipster twats perspective…obviously. They probably dig Crocodiles because they want to seem cool. I love the band because they truly saved me from hitting lower than rock bottom. But hey- this kind of love is never taken on board. It’s all about the ratings and what it sounds like. I’m not like that. I won’t compare the record, nor will I give it marks out of ten. All I’m going to do is attempt to write how amazing Endless Flowers is.

The album should be held up as one of the finest records of the year. It is perfectly perfect from start to finish. We live in a world where we seem to be content with anything that is half-arsed and made to just kill time, fill some space. Music is heading that way too. It breaks my heart, but it is happening. I guess this is why I adore bands like Crocodiles because they make brutal music that just makes you come alive. It mixes everything I love about music. There’s the big drums (similar to 60s girl groups), you have the  fuzzy guitars that just make your head so fucked up you cannot help but flail your limbs about. Then you have Brandon’s vocals which, as awfully clichéd as it sounds- his vocals on this record sound so powerful and so much stronger. His vocals aren’t as gritty as they were, but he still posses that raw vibe that caused me to fall in love with Crocodiles back in the summer of 2009.

My Surfing Lucifer makes you feel RIGHT. I think if Lester Bangs was alive, he’d really love this song. I believe he’d love Crocodiles. The song is so strange, and utterly wonderful. Much like the whole record. I think personally, my favourite track so far has to be No Black Clouds For Dee Dee. It is so beautiful, romantic and passionate. Every word is so delicately sung. It is like Brandon caresses every single word he sings. I also have fallen deeply in love with Dark Alleys. These two are joint favourites.

What I love about Crocodiles is that, they have this brilliant way of making you feel as if you are watching them rehearse. They have such a personal feel to their sound, as if it was only meant for you. That you are there witnessing them craft these sounds. A true basement band vibe going on. As much as I adore Summer Of Hate and Sleep Forever, with Endless Flowers- it just sounds like a huge leap. It sounds NOTHING like the first two, which is what I love in a band. To keep making music that sounds nothing like what they have done before. It is why I love bands like The Horrors, The Kills, Beach House etc. Every record just sounds entirely different, but at the same time reminds you why you fell in love with them. You fall in love with them a bit more when you hear something new. It is almost like it reaffirms your love for them.

The dark feel is alive and well in this record, but if you listen carefully you will hear some of the most beautiful lyrics you’ll hear in a long time. It is as intense as ever and so fucking raw. The bold but vulnerable songs just make you connect so much. Maybe you’ve just had your heart torn out and Crocodiles are your new discovery. If that’s the case, then I understand. I can only hope they do to you, what they do to me. It is just a perfect record from start to finish, I honestly cannot praise it enough. Fight the fury, and immerse yourself in something truly stunning.





Crocodiles.

15 05 2012

“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.





Crocodiles-Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9) -Video.

11 04 2012

My obsession for Crocodiles started in 2009. I fell in love with their distorted sound that made me feel like I did the first time my ears were subjected to The Jesus And Mary Chain. I felt this wave of love and wonder just take over. I couldn’t believe I was FINALLY experiencing something like this for real. Like I was going to be part of it, there from the very start. I rate Brandon so very highly as a frontman. I just love him a hell of a lot. His lyrics and his presence are just inspiring. Their debut record, Summer Of Hate made a really shite year worth getting through. Its lo-fi sound just elevated my soul and made everything okay. I think it was them and Cold Cave that dragged me through. 2010’s release, Sleep Forever was equally as important to me and I am 100% positive that this year’s release, Endless Flowers will mean just as much. Oh and also, Brandon is married to my favourite woman in music- Dee Dee Penny (Dum Dum Girls.) Best couple in music? You damn right they are.

So let me touch on their new video.

The video makes you feel like you’ve just dropped acid. I’ve never touched drugs, but this makes me feel like I have. The song is wonderfully calming and makes you want to seek out love, of sorts. You fall in love to this song so easily and the video gives you this lucid feel. It is the best kind of crazy possible.

You can check the video out here : http://www.nowness.com/ and also, Brandon gives you a list of his favourite psychedelic videos. Excellent choices, especially with Dum Dum Girls and The Horrors.

If they tour the UK this year, you’ll probably find me at the front losing my mind. I honestly cannot praise them enough and get all the love out. Just..amazing.





Crocodiles- Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)

21 02 2012

Crocodiles! I bloody love them. For many many reasons. I love the distorted, reverb sound. I love the lyrics- I just love THEM. So much. They look like a band you could just sit with in a dirty bar and discuss everything and anything about music. And probably life too. My love for them started in 2008, when I first heard Neon Jesus..I was just overwhelmed by what I was hearing, and of course I instantly fell in love.

I don’t want to ramble on about how perfect their new track is, but I am confident that going by this single- the new album Endless Flowers (out 4th June) will more than likely be one of the best this year. Every record by Crocodiles is a large part of my heart and life. They’re just perfect, and you can hear that perfection shining through in the new song.

Have a listen : http://soundcloud.com/souterraintransmissions/sunday