Sleep Forever – Crocodiles

I’m so-so on shoegaze. On one hand, it’s spawned a lot of great bands (the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, etc). On the other hand, if you listen to it too much, some of the songs can run together because the distortion can get old. I’ll admit, I even feel that sometimes when I listen to Psychocandy more than once. However, where some bands get lost and leave us bored, other bands are able to build on those said failings. Sleep Forever shows how Crocodiles did that.

The band was recommended to me by several websites and I heard that they were on Fat Possum, so I figured I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. As soon as I threw it on, I got lost in the bassline and melodies of the opening track “Mirrors”. I knew it was shoegaze, yet I ignored my previous bias since the opening track did really grab me. I was pleased with what followed. The band mixes psychedelic elements into tracks like “Stoned to Death” and “All My Hate and Hexes Are For You” (great closer, the keyboards at the end make this track). Tracks like “Billy Speed” and “Heart of Love” remind me a bit of BRMC (who are also from San Diego), especially guitarist Brandon Welchez’s work on “Billy Speed”. It’s loud, distorted, and unapologetic. And totally fucking awesome. This coupled with the raw howls of frontman Charles Rowell make the track memorable and probably my favorite off the record.

The only dud on this album would have to be “Girl in Black”. The reason is that it just seems to stop the album when it doesn’t need to even slow down. The other 7 tracks more than make up for the calm parts needed so this track just puts me to sleep.

I think I like this album a lot because at 8 tracks, it’s short and sweet and to the point. And it’s fun to dance to (but not by yourself, dork). The Jesus and Mary Chain comparisons are almost inevitable, but I can’t see these guys in the same league to be honest since their songs are a lot longer and I don’t remember JAMC being heavy on keyboard melodies like these guys are.

Never been a huge shoegaze fan, but I definitely dig these dudes’ style.  In a year of relatively good music, it’s one of the better releases of the year and not something to miss out on.

Hearts of Love

Stoned to Death

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