Review: Crocodiles – Endless Flowers
Published on June 13th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
San Diego duo Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell expand into a five-piece and self-produce for the first time on this, their third LP – and the results are sufficiently delicious for Crocodiles to sink their hundreds of combined total teeth into.
Proceedings get underway with the title track, whose big, gushing petals of lead guitar decorate a driving, reverby rock spine like someone left The Vaccines out in the sun, while “Sunday – Psychic Conversation #9” recalls early’90s Flaming Lips with its title, disorientingly bendy guitar and maelstrom-like propulsion of melodic fuzz.
Crocodiles sound more swoonsome than ever on “No Black Clouds For Dee Dee”, its cascading melody and loved-up lyrical hooks (“If you were a daisy thirsting for a fix, I’d gladly be the dew”) coming across like a drunkenly in love Ray Davies dancing elegantly to “Hewlett’s Daughter” by Grandaddy. These qualities, not to mention those cranked-right-up-but-still-so-gosh-darn-sweet-sounding guitars, make for a decent enough microcosm of Endless Flowers should you require one.
The delights keep on coming: “Electric Death Song” is what The Killers would sound like if they were good (that’s just, like, our opinion, man), “Bubblegum Trash” is as “sticky sweet” as both its title and lyrics suggest, and grand centrepiece “My Surfing Lucifer” begins life as a mind-alteringly chattering sound collage footed by low, droning guitar, before turning into an elated, “yeah, yeah, yeah”-ing serving of psychedelic surf-rock. Splendid stuff, and just in time for summer.
Closing pair “Welcome Trouble” and “You Are Forgiven” each clock in at under three minutes, the former a mini-epic of grinding rock riff, soaring speed-picking and sumptuous string section, the latter reinforcing our afore-made early-Lips comparison by echoing the comedown majesty of Hit to Death in the Future Head track “Hold Your Head”.
Endless Flowers could be accused of shooting the barrel of noisy psych-pop fish, but there’s a fair bit of flair needed to conjure something that sounds this dreamy. A consummate summer soundtrack for lovers of loud guitar and memorable melodies.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!