Album Review: Crocodiles – Summer Of Hate [Fat Possum]
Crocodiles write the kind of music that the internet has a massive jones for right now. They take traditional ’60s pop song structures and chord sequences, lay a bunch of lyrics about alienation over the top and feed the whole thing through an old analogue distortion pedal marked ‘The Destructonator’.
Like label-mates and contemporary noise-poppers Wavves, Crocodiles have a background in the punk scene and the angry young man inside their heads is clearly not going quietly. The result of this is a delightful mix of crystaline distortion, pop hooks and hours spent seething over teenage sufferings.
This might sound familiar to any one that was around in the ’80s and not vomiting and s**tting oneself (I am of course referring to early childhood, not the festival season). ‘Summer Of Hate’ positively reeks of the Jesus and Mary Chain, so much so you can smell the hairspray, but such is the style these days (Glasvegas anyone?) and Crocodiles do pull it off very well.
‘I Wanna Kill’ is likely to be the first song most people will hear from this band and it is probably the closest the band have got to achieving the sound that they have stored in their carefully back-combed heads. As the first proper song of the album, it sets things off to a strong start with an infectious chorus and a driving ’80s drum-beat. In contrast, ‘Sleeping With The Lord’ is a blissful meditation in gated-synth form, the obscured vocals just poking through enough to engender a general sense of wasted euphoria and hint at an underlying melancholy.
Title track ‘Summer Of Hate’ deftly erases any air of self-indulgence and its pounding drums and confident, melodic guitar lines lend it an almost Oasis-like swagger. Rest assured though, we’re way out of Gallagher territory here, instead, Crocodiles have crafted a collection of intelligent fuzz-pop tunes that aren’t afraid to deliver the hooks, yet don’t use them as a crutch. We are going to hear a lot more of this, as the whole dark-pop-shoe-gaze thing slowly replaces the post-Libertines indie-landscape as ‘the norm’, and there will be a lot of terrible bands come out of it, but for now lets just bask in the light of the new originators.
Written for Rivmixx.