With this, Berlin recorded, third album Crocodiles have expanded, not only their fundamental two piece to a full band, but in so doing, their sound. Expanded it to a more sophisticated version of their blistering; guitar feedback drenched full-Spektor drums and bass. If you were already a fan, like I was, the Jesus and Mary Chain / Echo & the Bunnymen comparisons were never, ever, a bad thing – and it’s obviously not something Welchez and Rowell have ever shyed away from – naming their band after the debut album of the latter was hardly a coincidence. But now, it feels more distille and focussed. In a good way.
No Black Clouds For Dee Dee is a glorious strummed love song addressed, one assumes, to Welchez’s wife (Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls) and has fast become one of my favorite songs in a long while – the string-like arrangements carrying the melody to resonating emotions; it’s hard to tell if these are musical tears of joy or sorrow. In moments, it’s like Richard Hawley joined the band. Truly gorgeous.
Melodies drip in and out of the requisite noise throughout this record – the ratio between them nearing perfection in order to crystalize the juxtapositions drawn. Kicking off with the title track – Welchez’s drawl turns, at times, to a croon. Lead single, Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9) seems to have been floating around forever – perhaps it’s my imagination but the song seems to have preceded the long-player by an age – but hearing it now, in it’s complete album context, it’s just better – more exciting and celebratory. Bubblegum Trash is another album favorite for me – when the drums kick in it’s magical; and then it’s a fuzzy summer afternoon’s dream; harmonies hidden just under noise-y surface.
I love this new version of Crocodiles and I love this album.
Rating 8.5 / 10