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Crocodiles – Endless Flowers

on June 04, 2012, 7:57am

Endless Flowers slingshots Crocodiles from the psychedelic cobwebs that trapped them on their first two albums and delivers a new batch of genre-bending, guitar-based anthems. If Endless Flowers were an amusement park ride, it would be the Himalaya; it’s loud, dizzying, and fuzzed out, with a throttling overdrive of pop melody that, like most amusement park rides, is enjoyed by all, but best appreciated in small doses.

The nostalgia on Endless Flowers plays like My Bloody Valentine cloaked in a paisley shirt and heavily dosed on MDMA, a funhouse of guitar squalor that wears thin when listening as a full-length. When plucked apart, however, the songs on Endless Flowers truly bloom. The swagger and airy groove of “No Black Clouds for Dee Dee” is a prime example of Crocodiles’ growth as song-craftsmen, featuring lyrics to match the song’s vibe, Brandon Welchez crooning (most likely to his wife Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls), “No more black clouds hanging around.”

“Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)” takes a power pop harmony and shreds it to pieces with a flurry of distortion and keyboards that burst through the chaos, sounding like a mutated version of The Cure’s “Friday I’m in Love”. Another highlight, “My Surfing Lucifer”, features a carousel of shoegaze-y guitars and a chorus with female gospel singers that would make the Spaceman himself, Jason Pierce, envious. A major moment of psychedelic indulgence arrives on the track “Hung Up On a Flower” that starts with a jangly Oasis melody before it drops out, leaving in its wake the voice of a demonic woman speaking atop feedback.

Crocodiles excel at crafting tiny moments using a wild range of guitar based genres, which can lead to wide appeal. This also can be its downfall as their genre defiance will make it hard for this trio to find an audience. It’s a lot to soak in at once, making Endless Flowers best consumed in small increments, meaning one song at a time than as a unified long player. Crocodiles try so much that it can be an exhausting listen, but still there is enough here to keep this outing from San Diego’s noise pop outfit from wilting.

Essential Tracks: “No Black Clouds for Dee Dee”, “My Surfing Lucifer”, and “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)”

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