“This ain’t your mama’s rock and roll.” That is the promise Crocodiles are making with their third studio album, Endless Flowers.
While personally my mum’s kind of rock and roll is the rock and roll associated with Crocodiles; Echo and the Bunnymen, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and perhaps even Buzzcocks, I’m sure that to many other mama’s Endless Flowers is just noise… and that’s just the way the youngsters like it.
The thing that makes this album so damn good is this balance of new school rock and roll vs. old school. One one hand, it’s got that nice rough sound of old recordings done in some dilapidated studio where the air is saturated with cigarette smoke and there are pretty girls on couches. But on the other side, it’s refreshingly original. I think especially recently there has been this trend of bands going too far with the throwback, taking it too literally to the point of unoriginality and Crocodiles don’t fit into that category. There’s enough new sound in there to keep Endless Flowers far away from the likes of gimmicky attribute bands.
The track Bubblegum Trash is indeed, like the first delicious bite of a gumball. A sparkly tambourine rhythm and perfect summertime crush lyrics make the track candied and juicy and keep it that way for its short lived life. It also shows off Crocodiles’ ability to mix old with new.You’ve still got twang and “ooh la la la”s in the background but there’s a such an underlying brightness. A vibrant guitar loop laces through and lifts the song out of the stuffy basement studio and into a 21st century summer.
What Crocodiles have done here is commendable. They’ve done something that I think a lot of bands might be finding difficult of late which is paying homage to the past, while also nodding to the future. Endless Flowers is a good example of how to achieve both those things and look good doing it.
By Ali Haberstroh