Summer of Hate
Crocodiles spew out a mix of rough punk, echo-tinged shoegaze, and a little bit of gritty rock on their debut full-length album, Summer Of Hate. Sometimes the lyrics come out in droning, almost emo chants, and sometimes they reflect a punkish sort of feel invoking angsty ballads of sunny summer days.
Band members Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez are obviously proponents of the lo-fi music sound and seem to have been influenced by early psychedelic rock with the dreamy atmosphere that many of their songs create. The opening instrumental, "Screaming Chrome," exemplifies this perfectly with its forty-eight second reverberating organ bubble and it drops one well as an intro to the second song.
Just because the title and lyrics of the second track, “I Want To Kill,” are familiar whines that bring back memories of teenage years, I almost hate to say that it is my favorite song within the thirty-four minutes of music that equate this album. However, with a mix of rollicking and mildly ‘90s punk anthem style sound, it makes you feel like you should be out drinking malt forties while laying graffiti.
However, if you don’t embrace the lo-fi sound, Summer Of Hate is not for you because the entire album sounds like it was intentionally recorded in one severely echo-filled room rather than in a studio. Obviously, Rowell and Welchez meant to create this sound, and it appears that they had fun doing so.
“Young Drugs,” the final song on the album, is the low point and sounds like two different songs lying atop each other in an incongruous rather than melodious manner. I was listening to it with a friend, and she described it as sounding like you’re listening to a pop rock song—but then someone’s cell phone rings and the overlapping sounds are confusing. The effect is not fantastic, and the song loses effectiveness by sounding like battling rather than collaborating melodies.
Overall, Summer Of Hate is decent music that seems to get its point across, but it’s just not quite fresh enough. The songs hold together, but you keep thinking that somewhere, you’ve heard these tunes before.