Crocodiles – Summer of Hate Crocodiles – Summer of Hate

Crocodiles  Summer Of Hate

Crocodiles - Summer Of Hate

The Crocodiles are a fairly new band that came onto the scene in 2008 with their single, “Neon Jesus.” Fat Possum records picked up the band which might seem a bit out of place mostly because Fat Possum tends to sign more bluesy rock, not so much lo-fi. Nevertheless, The Crocodiles fit into the somewhat new direction their record label has tried to pursue in recent years by trying to sign more lo-fi artists. Their noise-pop/indie-rock sound does make for some interesting music, but it’s when they stray from pop and venture to psychedelic landscapes that their lack of direction becomes apparent. With so many bands jumping on the indie rock bandwagon, it’s hard to keep them all straight and know who to focus on. It’s especially difficult because they all look the same with a PBR in hand and Ray Ban Wayfarers.  It would be refreshing to hear a band that doesn’t try to cash in on Animal Collective’s success.  The Crocodiles are not prodigies of their genre but with more experience, their raw talent can be honed into a work of art. To be fair, it is their first release and still a learning experience.

Crocodiles debut album Summer of Hate features plenty of sound experimentation as the band switches from pop ballads, to spacey-trance, and even to industrial-punk. Their ambition is commendable to try so many different sounds on one album. Most songs are short and sweet, with many clocking in at just over 3 minutes. When The Crocodiles stick to pop music, they excel quite well. The second track, “I Wanna Kill,” gives us distorted lyrics and starts the CD off on a steady foot. All is well when “Soft Skull (In My Room)” comes up. The pace quickens and clever guitar riffs keep things interesting.

Up next is a disappointing track. All of a sudden they throw in an extremely boring, dream-like track that leads nowhere, and inevitably comes up short. Unfortunately, the Crocodiles have more aimless tracks still to come. I was scared when “Sleeping With the Lord” came up but was pleasantly surprised. It’s better than their last psychedelic attempt (which isn’t saying much) and the synths gave the song direction. It’s still not a particularly great song but there is a small spark of talent, showing promise for future similar releases.

When “Refuse Angels” comes up, all seems to be better. There is a raw feel to a lot of tracks and this is no exception. It is industrial, grimy, and even has a hint of a Nine Inch Nails influence in the drum machine beat. The song “Summer of Hate” leads us down the southern rock path. It’s not full of twangy banjos but more bluesy rock, ending perfectly with an explosion of insurmountable energy. The record felt so good up until the very last song where The Crocodiles, yet again, try their hand at psychedelic sounds. Not surprisingly, they come up short with nothing new as the song plods along with the same problems they encountered earlier.

‘Summer of Hate’ is a solid first release but there is much improvement to be made. The use of different sounds through the album is a nice touch but only when utilized correctly. Dreamy landscapes tend to lack focus and drift off, never able to hold your attention. Though there are missteps, The Crocodiles do get songs right when pace quickens and pop influences come back into the equation. This album is a good first step but it’s nothing groundbreaking. With the exception of a few songs, ‘Summer of Hate’ sounds just like any other lo-fi record you would find playing at your local Urban Outfitters or American Apparel. It’s these exceptions that show promise for the future. Hopefully their sophomore attempt will build off the debut effort and bring something new to an indie-rock genre that so desperately needs it.

Crocodiles - Summer of Hate, reviewed by Vintage on 2010-07-07T05:39:52+00:00 rating 3.9 out of 5



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