The new Crocodiles thuds and billows like a fist wrapped in a loose paisley shirt. The band have upgraded (sidegraded?) the slacker shoegaze of previous offering Sleep Forever into a full blown homage to UK indie of the 80s. Jesus & Mary Chain swagger, Echo & the Bunnymen reverb and shimmering walls of #KevinShields feedback are all lovingly referenced and reproduced. There’s a poppy heart beating away under the juddering guitars, with tracks like Dark Alleys and the eponymous album opener powered by a throbbing internal engine, drive time rock for glorious losers.
Yes, it is pastiche, but credit to the band, they deliver 360 degree pastiche. After the albums uptempo opening stomp, Crocodiles casually pull the party up with the downbeat spiritual drone of Hung Up On A Flower, before morphing into skin slithering krautrock soundscape My Surfing Lucifer, which itself switches back into scuzzy surfing dancefloor fun.
Comparing this third album to its predecessors, Crocodiles front man Brandon Welchez surmised “I think those two albums, while I love them, were somewhat monochrome. This one is in full colour.” This seems a pretty good summery of an album that, whilst maybe not rewriting any rules, delivers soaring slacker psychedelia and teen beat thrills by the bucket load.