The rest of the country is finally catching up with Portland’s long-gestating hip-hop scene. Although …
Formed in 2008 by its core members after the break-up of their former punk bands, Some Girls and The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower consisting of best friends Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, Crocodiles is a noise pop/indie pop band from San Diego. The band has earned its title as one of the most engaging and consistent rock bands of the last few years. Dreamless, out Oct. 21 under the band’s own label, Zoo Music, will be its sixth LP and the band’s most exploratory and polished release.
The band is mostly known for combining the muffled-out “wah-wah” sounds of electric guitars and the fuzzbox effects found in psychedelia with the distorted, limited frequency of lo-fi, but Dreamless sees the duo embark on a more artistic retreat. Dreamless retires the guitars to the backseat, leaving room for more synthesizers and a more piano-heavy sound.
The album was recorded in Mexico City over the course of six short weeks, comprises 10 tracks, and explores a more self-ware, jaded outlook on life. The album opens up with a chilling spoken-word sample that says, “And you’ll burn and weep and suffer.” In a statement released by PRESSPARTY, Welchz explains, “The sample is from a Christian preacher that we found over 15 years ago and used on the first 7” we ever did together when we were still teenagers. Back then we used it with a sense of humor, laughing at the whole ridiculous guilt trip vibe. But hearing it again in our apartment in Mexico City, within the context of the words we were singing, it took on a different air. It lost the humorous aspect and just seemed like a commentary on life.”
The desolate theme from the opening line is consistent throughout the rest of the album. Dreamless has the volume and harmonic feedback of The Jesus and Mary Chain combined with the trip-hop, downtempo, ambient, chill-out sound of bands like Zero 7 and Massive Attack. Together, those elements create a generally cool and contemptuous album.»
– Samantha Lopez