Crocodiles – ‘Summer of hate’ Review

One of the things about promo sheets for bands is that they frequently tell you very little information of any use, thus I am approaching the Crocodiles for the first time aware of very little beyond the band name. 

First track, ‘Screaming chrome’ is, therefore, something of a surprise as it offers up a few seconds of swirling noise before catapulting the listener off into some alternative reality where Arab Strap were a Jesus and Mary chain covers band. ‘I wanna kill’ (track 2) features the pop-hook-laden chorus of ‘I wanna kill you tonight’ over a repetitive synth beat, the cheesiest organ this side of Arnold Rimmer’s Hammond organ recital nights and feedback-drenched guitar, all of which come together in one gloriously lo-fi, vaguely retro blast of rock ‘n’ roll. 

‘Soft skull in my room’ is an instant fix, kind of reminiscent of the Cure during their dark-pop period, but with ‘people are people’-era Depeche Mode helping out. It’s unashamed, life-affirming, exciting and a throwback to the days when Org records dealt with indie noise artists such as Mogul, the Seahorses and Cay, to provide welcome relief from much of the over-produced, over-hyped, vapid pop-rock music that so often crosses our desks these days. 

‘Here comes the sky’ is quite beautiful in a twisted, lop-sided kinda way, ‘refuse angels’ ups the tempo and throws it through the window in a fit of pure rock fury, ‘flash of light’ attains in just two minutes the sleazy glam stomp that Marilyn Manson spent thousands of dollars attempting to recreate throughout the whole of ‘mechanical Animals’ and ‘sleeping with the lord’ captures the essence of Spiritualized in one easy go. 

‘Summer of hate’ is a short record, just nine tracks in thirty-four minutes, but here the motto is clearly quality over quantity. If you enjoy life-enhancing, lo-fi, feral rock ‘n’ roll (and seriously, if you don’t what the hell are you doing here) then you’ll love this album. Out on tour in the UK this October; check them out while they’re still playing small venues because they won’t be for long.

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