Review

Crocodiles

Endless Flowers

Souterrain Transmissions • 2012

For their third album Endless Flowers Crocodiles’ Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez turned their backs on sunny San Diego to record in one of Europe’s top music meccas – the slightly gloomier Berlin. And this isn’t the only change: the lineup was adjusted to include drummer Anna Schulte, keyboardist Robin Eisenberg and bassist Marco Gonzalez. The result? Their best album to date with room at the top. The boys brought with them their sunny surfer style in combination with reliable song structures and melodies enveloped in lo-fi, beach rock sounds. Here and there, like on »My Surfing Lucifer«, it seems like their recording location gave them a nudge to try something different: the first two and a half minutes of the song presents a loopy, distorted female voice rambling and moaning in German nearly creating a tangible tension when suddenly the Crocodiles’ screeching riffs come in only to turn the song into a surfy ballad – and even though this is to be expected, the track being called »My Surfing Lucifer« after all, the song’s turn around is a somewhat disappointing anti-climax. »No Black Clouds For Dee Dee«, assumably written for Welchez’s wife Dee Dee of the Dum Dum Girls, presents less grit and more prom-type sweetness, »Dark Alleys« is a buzzy, pick-me-up song that, with its unchallenging lyrics (»dark alleys of my heart«) feels like a bit of a filler song where as »Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)« is a warped-guitar, pop song that is catchy if anything. Another stand-out song is »Bubblegum Trash«, its lyrics describing the song accurately: »With words so sticky sweet/Which only serve to rot my teeth«. The Crocodiles have added more layers with the increase of band members. The layers brought more romance, insight and a steady theme. Though they are still struggling to find their own sound (as they are continuously being compared to Jesus & Mary Chain) they have found a way to mix sunshine melodies with morbid gloom and painful boredom – maybe album four will turn this skill into their trademark.