Hey everybody! So it’s summer, the weather hasn’t been too shabby, and I’m feeling pretty good. As such, I’ve had some down time during which to scour the murky corners of ze internetz and find some interesting reptiles for your perusal. To preface, these bands have absolutely nothing to do with each other beyond their similarly reptilian namesakes, but I, with my easily amused nature and puerile wit could not pass up the chance to title this post “Crocodiles and Alligators”. Somewhere, at one point, it made sense and was witty somehow. Maybe it is still? I dunno you tell me… But I digress.
CROCODILES! I stumbled upon these guys while poking around the Fader website. What struck me, perhaps even before their music, was their MEGA low budget music video for the eponymous track of their debut album Summer of Hate. Even though the camerawork is akin to that of an epileptic fourteen year old with one of those huge 90’s camcorders super awesome person, there is this really cool and intense air about it, as if Crocodiles, that crazy San Diego duo, are saying “Yeah, our budget for this video was $15.95. What of it fool? And by the way, your mother was good last night.” In this way, I think that the video, although simple, is representative of Crocodiles’ sound as a whole. Named after an Echo & The Bunnymen album, with an album titled Summer of Hate and songs called I Wanna Kill and Soft Skull (In My Room), one could easily assume that this record would be full of anti-social hate ballads and amp-fuzz… and it actually kind of is, but in a friggin’ good way (I promise). Behind all of the shoe-gazing and the angst and the dark lyrics there is beautiful melody and depth which stops Summer of Hate just short of becoming a parody of itself. Admittedly, Crocodiles don’t sound super unique (imagine A Place To Bury Strangers with less feedback and intensity), but they work with their sound to create something that is ultimately, and morbidly, enjoyable.
Alternatively, Alligators are a nostalgic breath of fresh air. At first I was a little freaked out by the lead singer’s vocal similarity to Thom Yorke (especially since Radiohead is my favorite band EVAR), but once I stopped creepily forcing my friend to confirm that Mr. Yorke did not have some side project I was unaware of, I was able to really appreciate the music for what it was. Hearkening to dreamy 70’s pop and taking cues from bands like The Zombies and The Beach Boys, Piggy and Cups sounds clean and light. It is not however, just a playful summer romp. Songs like Original Fear show the band’s versatility with a genuinely foreboding and dark track. A very interesting listen at the very least.
Soooo I hope you enjoy getting into these two animalistic bands (humor me please, I don’t have many friends). Next time I won’t try to be so punny.