CROCODILES. Sebright Arms. 29th August 2013.

30 08 2013

 

 

Last September I saw Crocodiles live for the first time. I’d been a fan since 2009, and I had been waiting many years to see then live. Seeing them in a record store playing for just over 20 minutes wasn’t how I imagined it to be, but it was better than what I had previously- which was nothing. Go forward to just under a year and I finally get to see them in an environment I feel comfortable with.

Earlier in the day I briefly hung out with Brandon and Charlie in an alley for an interview. I’ll type it up later if my dictaphone picked anything up. I bought it off Amazon from a dodgy seller. I never learn.

Sebright Arms is a wonderful pub that was just made to have bands like Crocodiles perform. A small, dark room with enough space for you to move your body round in any way you wish. I sure as hell did. They opened with Sunday (Psychic Conversations #9.) Immediately they launched the crowd into a frenzy. 150 sweaty bodies had been waiting for this. I think secretly my girlfriend who came with me, had been waiting for this too.

When I saw them last year it was a little after their record, Endless Flowers had come out but they still played older songs such as I Wanna Kill and All My Hate And Hexes Are For You (personal favourite.) These songs weren’t played last night, but to be honest, I didn’t care. I just wanted to see them play as a full set. Was my mind blown? Hell yes. I was stood right by a speaker so my eardrums are fucked too. I can’t really hear anything properly yet. Everything sounds a bit fuzzy; the remains of the night before are stuck. I’ll cling until 2nd October where it will happen all over again.

Each member of Crocodiles leaves you wonderfully hypnotised. I was stood directly in front of Marco, and when he plays bass you cannot help but fall into a similar trance. His eyes are shut, as if he is another world. You don’t know if you are meant to follow him or to slightly veer into your own way. You’ll probably meet midway anyway. Maybe at the encore. Lose your shit kids. It’s the best way to have a good time. Then we have Robin on keys who pretty much lures you in as soon as she plays. Rocking back and forth, harmonising with Brandon. You can see the enthusiasm so clearly when she plays. I cannot stress enough just how inspiring they are to watch. Robert unleashes unruly fury on the drums; I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t have abrasions after playing. He may be the newest member, but the family unity they have is still as pure as it ever was. Charlie is without a doubt the best guitarist I’ve ever seen live. He does something truly mind-blowing on that stage. You cannot help but stare. From the way he flung some beer around as he was playing the guitar to his jolting movements whilst he annihilates the guitar. The force he plays with seems so effortless; he makes you wish you could play the guitar and created your own creepy sound. Brandon’s vocals are just perfect. His yelps during Sunday to the way he sings “R-E-F-U-S-E” on the song Refuse Angels just leaves you in awe. He throttles the mic stand with frustrated force. You can tell that for him, and the others that music is everything to them. And that’s why their music means everything to their fans.

What I loved about this show was the sheer diversity in the crowd. From old guys coming to the show on their own to the lost kids finally finding a home (like myself)- this show was one of my highlights of the year. They played a solid mixture of all four records. I sang my heart out to every song, I swayed and my hearing is  less than good right now. I had the best time ever. I’m not sure how to write a typical live review; all I can do is write about how the show made me feel and what I saw. I like to think I’ve sort of done that.

There were leaflets advertising their next London date which is on the 2nd October at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. Tickets are only £10 and you can get them here: https://parallellines.ticketabc.com/events/crocodiles-2/ I cannot wait to feel this way again in October.

I’d also like to mention that Virals were incredible last night. They played for a little under half an hour I think, but it was enough for the crowd to know that Virals are a brutal talent. And you know what? My girlfriend who likes Michael Buble (I know..I know, but I see past it) turned to me and said she enjoyed Virals. She’s a good one, I know.

In short, Crocodiles blew my mind (and eardrums) last night. To see your favourite band live is beyond words; it reinforced a lot of things for me. Things that caused me to love them the first time round. Crocs are for sure, the best live band you’ll see. They put their all into it, and you return the favour by losing your mind.

Groove is in the heart kids, let it all out!





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.