Crocodiles continue their output of gritty, 80s inspired shoegaze.
7.3 / 10.0
Taking direct influence from 80s shoegaze acts including The Jesus & Mary Chain and Echo & the Bunnymen, Crocodiles’ output has consistently been on my radar. Endless Flowers is their latest LP, their first on Frenchkiss records, and their most polished sounding release yet. While not as ambitious and textured as their 2010 effort Sleep Forever, Endless Flowers is still a nice addition to any shoegazer’s music collection.
Crocodiles chose to open the album with its titular track, “Endless Flowers”, which holds one of the catchiest songs of 2012 buried underneath layers of sonic fuzz and would feel at home on the soundtrack of “Pretty in Pink”, or any other John Hughes film for that matter. Right from the start, it’s a sign that Crocodiles are starting to move away from the darkness that permeated through their previous efforts. This trend is especially evident in “No Black Clouds for Dee Dee”, a syrupy sweet love song to front-man Brandon Welchez’s wife, Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls. The song itself bears a strong resemblance to a Dum Dum Girls’ song, another band known for their vintage noise pop.
“Hung up on a Flower” acts as a bridge between the two halves of the album. It’s an airy and spacious relief to such a noise dense album. Second half opener “My Surfing Lucifer” is accented by My Bloody Valentine-esque blasts of tumultuous distortion. The rest of Endless Flowers acts as filler, though, which is a shame, since the beginning half is quite solid. Perhaps Crocodiles should have spread the gems across the album. The closing track, “You are Forgiven” is a rather disappointing and cliché track, void of a rhythm section and ending with samples of twittering birds and the ringing of a church bell.
While Endless Flowers is a bit repetitive, (is there really that much difference between “Dark Alleys and “Welcome Trouble”?), and although Brandon Welchez’s tend to climb over-the-top, there’s still enough to like. However, the Crocodiles already gave us their freshest bouquets with Summer of Hate and Sleep Forever.