My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Thu
    24
  • Fri
    25
  • Sat
    26
  • Sun
    27
  • Mon
    28
  • Tue
    29
  • Wed
    30
Video Games Live Jul 24, 2014 Popular game music themes given the full symphonic treatment with synchronized lighting and even some real on-stage game-playing. Concert will feature music from Zelda, Sonic, Metal Gear Solid, BioShock and more. 80 other events on Thursday, July 24
 
Arts & Culture feature
New business is illuminating the imagery found in science
Theater
Joint production by La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego Rep leads our rundown of local plays
Spin Cycle
Did Carl DeMaio’s partner overstep his authority by ousting business-association chief?
News
San Diego planning director’s uphill battle to create walkable communities
Editorial
Mayor’s actions so far betray his pitch, but there’s still hope

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
. . . .
Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012

Crocodiles polish up with ‘Endless Flowers’

New album is tighter and sharper but still weighed by influences

By Peter Holslin

Crocodiles Endless Flowers (Frenchkiss)

In a way, I feel sorry for Crocodiles. With their hip leather jackets and noisy jangle-pop riffs, the band constantly gets compared to acts like The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Spiritualized. And while those are apt comparisons, they hang on the band like a yoke, dragging them down into the indie-rock muck.

Of course, every band is entitled to a few obvious influences. As the guys in The Jesus and Mary Chain readily acknowledge, creative borrowing / theft is par for the course in rock music. But here’s what bothers me: The Jesus and Mary Chain will be playing in San Diego this week, and Spiritualized have a new album out, Sweet Heart Sweet Light. So, why settle for less when you can just as easily get the real thing?

It’s heartening, then, that Crocodiles mature significantly on their new album Endless Flowers. Recording for the first time as a proper five-piece, they sound bigger and more polished on this third full-length, using tighter hooks and sharper lyrics to strike a balance between the sunny cheer of ’60s pop and the seedy darkness of ’90s rock.

Even without the crude drum-machine beats and simple synth lines of their 2009 debut, Summer of Hate, Crocodiles sound like Crocodiles. They’re as wry and volatile as ever, but they temper all their U.K.-rock sensibilities with a Southern California vibe: With the rollicking anthem “My Surfing Lucifer” (which could be a nod to Encinitas’ notorious “Surfing Madonna”), you can really feel how our city is home to wisecracking hipsters and beach-loving bros.

Alas, Crocodiles’ influences are still glaring. Just listen to the My Bloody Valentine-style guitar bends of “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)” and singer Brandon Welchez’s Morrissey-like lilt in “Electric Death Song.” After repeated listens, I still can’t get completely immersed in the album because I keep getting distracted by random, probably unintentional signifiers. On the title track, for example, I keep marveling at how Welchez’s moping croon reminds me of Smoking Popes frontman Josh Caterer.

But let’s give Crocodiles a break. Endless Flowers might not come close to the best of their biggest influences, but it’s still a good listen. Indeed, sometimes it’s the Marshmallow Mateys and not the Lucky Charms that make us happy.

Crocodiles play at House of Blues on Wednesday, June 13.


Email peterh@sdcitybeat.com or follow him on Twitter at @peterholslin.




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close