Summer of Hate – Crocodiles

by Jack Diablo
Release Date: April 28, 2009 on Fat Possum
Nearly any band will tell you they hate their sound being compared to other groups and Crocodiles are no exception. But listen to “I Wanna Kill” on their debut album, Summer of Hate, and just try not to think Jesus and Mary Chain, I dare you. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact its quite the compliment. But such obvious comparisons aside, Crocodiles are not out to recycle or revisit a classic winning sound nor are they simply the latest crew to hop aboard a momentum-gaining train. The distortion and fuzz that connect them to JMC are prevalent throughout but there are original elements added to the mix that add a modern touch to a retro-inspired foundation.
Songs like “Soft Skull (In My Room)” and “Refuse Angels” maintain an infectious violence that translate well into fitful dance floor mayhem. “Sleeping With The Lord” is dreamy and atmospheric while the title track is a steady crescendo of noise pop that resolves in to the album’s closer, “Young Drugs,” a delicately synth-driven comedown to an otherwise noisy album. Although somewhat poppier than bands with similar intentions, Crocodiles are hell-bent on bringing back the aesthetic of the dark sixties filtered through the past few decades of sonic evolution.
Stereogum marked them as a “Band to Watch” in 2008 based on the single “Neon Jesus” which mysteriously (or perhaps strategically) does not appear on the album. But it will be 2009 that will determine if they can live up to the advance hype and break free from the shackles of those associations every new band loves to hate.