Three albums into their career, and the West Coast noise pop group, Crocodiles, are still better defined by name dropping other bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club than by noting anything that is uniquely Crocodiles. Even here, on Endless Flowers, as they attempt to incorporate the varying styles of Brit Pop, The Paisley Underground, and new wave fit for a John Hughes movie soundtrack, they’re no closer to crafting their own identity. Granted none of this matters when you have a pop song as good as “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9).” It’s a fun, danceable track with swarms of groundless guitars and a bright upbeat melody, and just the right amount of unhinged noise in the bridge to give it an edge over your standard power pop, the type of track that would have had them top of the alt-rock charts during the ’90s. And, with the right amount of exposure, it could even raise their profile in today’s era. But when you get to the meat of the album, and the songs are just standard, and not exceptional, you’ll have a difficult time not switching mid stream to other bands who did the noise pop thing before, did it better, and did it with a stronger sense of self. 6 out of 10 on The Rockometer.
- July 20, 2015
Political punk rock comes with a unique risk. What if all the causes you've been championing have been overtaken by more pressing issues by the time your album hits the streets? In our era, dominated by hot takes and social media firestorms, remaining topical is even more difficult. When you consider anarcho-punk forebearers, Crass were left to question their own strategy after Thatcher began and ended the Falkland's War in the early '80s while the band worked for more than a year on the double album, Christ - The Album, a modern band surely faces an even more daunting task, right? Who cares about Occupation Wall Street any more? In the past month gay marriage is the law of the land and the Confederate flag has (finally) become a poisonous symbol. A diplomatic, nuclear arms treaty with Iran has been agreed upon and a Cuban flag is flying outside of an embassy in Washington DC. The United States of 2015 is a far different place than the United States of 2012, when Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and his long, dormant band, Desaparecidos reunited for a second round of incendiary arena-punk. Read More