Crocodiles: Boys (Zoo Music) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, November 27th, 2020  

Crocodiles

Boys

Zoo Music

Jun 03, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The San Diego-formed garage psych duo Crocodiles (Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez) released their simple, scuzzy first album Summer of Hate in early May 2009 when the most credible aesthetic in music was distortion. Similar to then-label mate Wavves' (both did time on Fat Possum) debut album, Vivian Girls, and the explosion of the microgenre that launched a thousand Tumblrs, Chillwave, Crocodiles draped every song they wrote in thick, heaping waves of fuzz and lo-fi mystique. Jesus and the Mary Chain comparisons came fast and furious, accompanied by criticism that Crocodiles' influences were doing more work in their songs than the artists themselves.

After three more albums in five years, it appears that Crocodiles have embraced distortion and abstracted psych-pop as a way of life, rarely veering too far outside their comfort zone on those albums of syrupy, staticy, three-minute guitar driven slashes. And while that doesn't sound too imaginative, Welchez and Rowell have decided to throw in the occasional Latin-American flavor on their latest album Boys, the bulk of which was actually recorded in Mexico City. The results are assuredly in Crocodiles' wheelhouse with the occasional surprise: tracks like the Primal Screen groove of "Crybaby Demon" and the pouting, put-on androgynous coolness of "The Boy is a Tramp" fall in the former category while the arty road house strut of "Foolin' Around" and "Kool TV," which in particular sounds like a mixture of "Oye Como Va" and a 1970s Saturday cartoon theme song, are welcome additions to the latter. If Boys showcases anything, it's that Crocodiles have moved past simply aping their biggest influences for all they're worth to become impressively symbiotic with distortion driven-rock music. Let's let them live, shall we? (www.killcrocodiles.com)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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