Album Review – “Summer of Hate” by local band the Crocodiles (Fat Possum Records)
Internet buzz bands are all the rave this year. Bands mention other bands, and the blogs go crazy. That’s just how it works now-a-days. But there is a certain formula to all this madness.
The formula being that one big band (No Age in this case) rave about some small band (Crocodiles in this case) they heard somewhere to a blog (Stereogum in this case) to which said small band skyrocket to stardom and record the album of the summer. Unfortunately for the San Diego bred Crocodiles, they seemed to have skipped that last step.
Released in April of 2009, Summer of Hate was anticipated to blow the blog and hipster scene away with the kind words of No Age in the Stereogum piece backing them. “This song [the ‘Neon Jesus’ single] is a real good kinda early eighties electro punk pop jam,” said the members of No Age. The description of early eighties electro punk pop jam, a.k.a. Echo and the Bunnymen, is exactly what you get.
An organ filled intro titled “Screaming Chrome” leads you into the best track on the record, “I Wanna Kill,” and then the rest of the album is kind of just … there.
Tracks 3, “Soft Skull (In My Room),” and 8, “Summer of Hate,” bring out the term lo-fi to the max with the echoey, distortion filled riffs, but fail to catch the sound that they are going for. “Refused By An Angel” sticks out because of the distorted drumbeats that keep the song flowing into your ears and staying there. They do some vocals harmonies well in a couple spots on the records in, “Here Comes the Sky” and nail the synth and vocal combination in, “Sleeping With the Lord.”
All in all, this record would be worth all the buzz its gotten had they stuck to what they did do sometimes, but failed at most of the time. They will be playing at San Diego’s annual Street Scene on day 2 (August 29th) and then hit the road on September 15th through October 16th with The Horrors. Their live show is not one to be missed – despite what I have said here – so go check them out on one of their dates.