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The Scarlet & Black

Crocodile dreams

By Geo Gomez

Crocodiles, a shimmery beach band from San Diego, is coming to Grinnell to spread their nostalgic and wayward sound.

The influence from noise pop is evident in their low-fi sound. The music sounds like it has not been heavily produced in a studio and instead conveys the raw sound of the group.

“They have lots of energy. They meld pop sensibilities with lots of texture and noise,” said Pooj Padmaraj ’13, SGA Concerts Chair.

In their song “Hearts of Love,” the voice of the lead singer droning over the song is reminiscent of a seagull soaring above a beachside pier. Echoes of his voices trail appear throughout the song, giving the impression of a memory that fades as soon as it is appears.

Xylophones add cheer to the song through the tingling and shimmering upbeat sound, with the instrumentals supporting the beach-vibe of the band.

The title of the song has obvious romantic connotations, clearly expressed through beach vibes and cheerful instrumentation. Juxtaposed with the cynical lyrics, however, the beach sound becomes a double-edged sword that shines brightly but carries the threat of angst behind it.

“One of these days, the sun will burn out and the wind will come to stay. And me and my love will surf the streets all day,” croon Crocodiles.

Following these lyrics, the band transcends into an on-point guitar riff, a guitar screech, and jumps into a banging chorus. It’s the moment in the song where the crowd phases out of their head-bopping daze and into a hopping frenzy.

Another one of the band’s songs, “Sleep Forever,” is a shoe-gazer, slow-tempo song. Crocodiles incorporate low-fi sound distortion and set it against the song’s vocals, guiding the song like a lazy kite floating towards nowhere in particular.

The song’s vocals follow the drawn out deliberateness of the instrumentals. A female vocalist joins in to create a dissonance between the two voices, purposely creating no clear harmony between the two. The song eventually fades out amongst a symphony of a frenetic guitar.

The song “Summer of Hate” starts with an up-tempo beat that is accompanied by tambourines and jittering chords. The vocals are characteristically shaky.

“‘Fraid that she’ll come round and scratch out my eyes, then we we’ll know what these tears can disguise,” sing Crocodiles.

There’s obvious angst present in the lyrics and the underlying sass soon emerges as the song explodes into a bang-’em-up of harsh drums. Near the end of the song, the drums bang over and over again, the cymbals filling the song with their metallic ringing. A guitar riff drifts throughout and the song fades with an ambiguous low-fi sound.

Finally, the song “Sunday” adds some pep to the Crocodile’s sound. After a brief intro of recording lull which includes the classic count off, “1, 2, 3 4!” the song busts out into a solid rock sound.

The guitar delivers a steady and exciting tempo, the bass provides steady support, and the drums bang out a solid sound to keep the song’s tempo, clattering every now and then to gather momentum and push the song forward.

The song seamlessly reaches a peak when the drums speed up to every one-fourth beat to build an excited crescendo, until the singer wails out an extended “Ow!” Those who come to the show should expect no delay for their sonic satisfaction.

“There is no opener and [Concerts] would like to start the show on time, so everyone can enjoy the 10/10 festivities,” Padmaraj said.

For fans of beach rock music like Best Coast or Wavves, Crocodiles is a must-see. Come on in, the water’s fine! —in Gardner this Saturday at 9:00 p.m.

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