In the same Southern Californian noise-rock boon that spawned Wavves, Abe Vigoda, and a litany of other bands that have probably spent more money on reverb pedals than on all of their touring vans combined, Crocodiles was the great band that got left behind. Their 2009 record Summer of Hate came and went despite being able to fuse the trebly, tinnitus-inducing guitar racket of Jesus and Mary Chain, the narcotic haze of Spacemen 3, and Bob Dylan’s hair into a concise, focused package. With a new record, titled Sleep Forever on the horizon and a tour with frontman Brandon Welchez’s wife’s band on the horizon, it seems like Crocodiles’ cultural cachet is already on the rise.
“Sleep Forever”, the title track and lead single of the forthcoming Crocodiles record starts out like most Crocodiles songs do, with a bleating, distorted guitar arhythmically looped, underscoring a melody more harmonic than anything the band has put to tape up to this point. Shortly after, the bass and drums hit with a vivid clarity also new to the band’s repertoire. Producer James Ford (he of Simian Mobile Disco, who has also done work for Peaches and virtually every young band that has made the cover of NME in the past three years) does a very fine job scrubbing the grit from the instruments, and the band clearly sounds enthused to chase a poppier sound, but one can’t help but think that the scuzzy cool of the band might have been washed away. Only upon the album’s release will we be able to see if the concentration on a more melodic sound can be tempered with the intensity of their debut, but for better or worse, “Sleep Forever” displays Crocodiles at their most anthemic.
MP3: Crocodiles – “Sleep Forever”