Friday, May 29, 2009

The Crocodiles

Summer of Hate (04.09, Fat Possum)

Byline: Summer beach party at the Manson Ranch!

For: Jesus & the Mary Chain, No Age, Black Lips, A Place to Bury Strangers

When I was in high school a friends dad loaned me a copy of Psychocandy by Jesus & the Mary Chain. Instead of being immediately smitten I became confused, frustrated and ultimately disappointed with the entire experience. I thought something was wrong with my stereo, I kept on adjusting the bass and treble levels trying to eliminate what I thought was the static of a poor recording. Eventually I gave up and when I returned it to him he looked at me with a wise smile and said, "you'll get it some day". Well, I am 24 now and let's say I get it. We can blame it on the immaturity of my ears or my adolescent attention span that didn't allow me to get through the aural onslaught of ear shredding noise to get to the 60's inspired pop gems that were glowing beneath the surface. All I saw were two skinny dudes with weird hair making a racket. Fast forward to 2009 and the same strategy is alive and well, The Crocodiles are a young duo from San Diego that wrap their fractured pop songs in a black cloak of vicious feedback and squalor. The late sixties are alive and well on this album, the sense of foreboding and dissatisfaction that bubbled beneath every three chord pop song mirror our own time of an inherited risk environmental and economic collapse. Where The Crocodiles stand out from the class of 2008-2009 lo-fi revolutionaries is not their borrowed inspiration but their interpretation of the sixties. The Crocodiles could challenge the Black Angels for role as third-wave psychedelia dark arts champions. Shimmering synthesizers abound on "Flash of Light" and "Young Drugs" and give the tracks a buzzing sense of depth that is usually thrown out the windows of their contemporaries. The stand out track with it's killer guitar licks and church organ chugging along, is "I Wanna Kill" your new anthem for this apparent summer of hate?

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