Album Review - Crocodiles' "Boys"

By Mandi Kimes

I’ve been on a huge psychedelic, garage-rock, and shoegaze kick lately. So, I was definitely a fan of Crocodilesgarage-psych brilliance. Each song is relatively short, and I wish I had more, but fortunately the album is ten songs long. And the theme of boys is strong in each track, as the album name suggests.

The album starts with "Crybaby Demon", a tune that imitates King Tuff in its vocals and tingy guitar riffs. The drums are a combination of deep floor tom hits and chinky tambourine. The chorus is extremely catchy and guaranteed to get stuck in your hand. Noisey once referenced that this is a song you can salsa dance to, and I can definitely hear the Latin influence in its percussion. "Foolin' Around" begins with the drums setting the tone with high-pitched “Oooh”s in the background. This track resembles T-Rex with its vocal timbre. The drums remain solid throughout the whole tune and cause you to bob your head to the beat.

"Do The Void" is a summer jam with its infectious bass line and bursting tambourine hits. The amplified guitars at 2:09 remind me of the irritating heat waves we face during the Phoenix summers. "The Boy is a Tramp" takes a turn towards the shoegaze side with its atmospheric guitar tones and echoey drum hits. “Where were you when I wrote this song?” is the first line of the song, and so begins the mystery. The song, while possessing a futuristic tone, has glimpses of 1950s/1960s pop with its drum beats. You begin to get comfortable in its mellow tone, until the song bursts at into a steady flow of heightened instrumental emotion at 1:41. The song continues to increase intensity from that point and continues to satisfy.

The album kicks back to its dirty rock with "Hard" at a level of eleven. “Why you gotta be so hard?” is the mantra of the chorus, which is a question I’ve been asking boys my whole life. It’s at this point in listening to the album that the name of the album, "Boys", is really a theme in each song. "Blue" starts with a whirring guitar effect and explodes into castanets and a dismal atmosphere. Taking its Latin influence and evoking a desert sound, this song radiates as the perfect first track with the flip of the vinyl or cassette tape (choose your preference).

"Kool TV" is a Latin-infused samba that is guaranteed to get you moving and dancing. It makes me wonder exactly how many percussion tracks were used on this song: drums, shakers, tambourine, cowbell, bongos...maybe more? Blast this song as you cross the border to your Rocky Point getaway this summer and keep it on repeat if you want to keep the vibes alive. The song "Peroxide Hearts" is as catchy and pop-influenced, but still maintains its garage-rock credibility. The guitars slip into “Star Power” at 1:30, and just like in Mario Kart, once you begin to get comfortable with the increase in power, it’s gone before you know it.

Airy guitars begin the track "Transylvania", which again portrays a King Tuff-eqsue tone. “I wanna go to Transylvania // That’s where I wanna be // Where a boy can be free // Where a boy can be” is his mantra in the chorus as he continues to describe how a young boy’s imagination leads him to a far-off land. In a sense, this track is an anthem of all of our perfect escape places, whether it be Transylvania or Neverland or Oz, or even your own bedroom. At 2:30, the song leads into a whirlwind of instruments playing their own cacophony of nonsense, until the song comes back to order and he sings the chorus again. The album ends with "Don't Look Up", which exhibits Beach House-esque percussion. It’s a more mellow piece (not as mellow as “The Boy is a Tramp”), but it still contains energy in the guitars. “Don’t look up // Hide your eyes // Lighten up your gaze // Don’t feel strange” and lines like “We’re all together ‘cause we’re all alone” are true testaments of joining together in our suffering and building each other up.

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