Words: Kieran Toms
Crocodiles - 'Sleep Forever' (Release: 13 September)
'Sleep Forever' starts rather encouragingly, with opener 'Mirrors' beginning with a big krautrock rhythm and some exciting swirling guitars that are seemingly the beginning of a crescendo that will lead to something wondrously epic.
Despite this early promise, nothing wondrous ever really arrives, not on that track, nor, sadly on the rest of the record. There seem to be all the right ingredients there, insofar as their influences are obviously quite good (things like Jesus And The Mary Chain) but at the same time are not so blatant as to be a rip off. And sonically, the record is very well produced, sounding sharp and crisp but with enough fuzz to give it a gritty feeling. And the producer himself, James Ford, has a more than decent CV, having been on the buttons for Arctic Monkeys and Florence and The Machine, amongst others, in recent years.
But maybe it is the contrast from all these good markers that makes the actual reality sound particularly underwhelming. The singer doesn’t particularly impress. Lyrically, he seems rather laboured and clichéd, making the mistake of thinking lyrics about death are profound just because of their subject matter, rather than writing anything particularly interesting on the matter. He tends to repeat phrases rather aimlessly, which adds very little, and the songs often drag, with any occasional glimpse of a decent guitar riff soon swamped by more mediocre passages that you feel could have been omitted. It might have sounded less "epic" to them, being all a bit more compact, but it would have made for a more pleasurable listening experience.
The album’s not all bad - there are some decent melodies here and there, and when this seems to be the focus of the song, as on 'Hearts Of Love', the band finally begin to impress. Elsewhere though, it’s like they’ve just decided to go for an grand-sounding song, and tacked a token tune over the top, hoping that the production and omnipresent booming drums will suffice.
'Sleep Forever' is just never really particularly captivating, which is a shame because there seems to be the makings of a good band hidden in here, if only they could find the right way to get it out.
DOWNLOAD: Crocodiles - Sleep Forever
Download a free EP by Crocodiles from Spin. Stream 'Sleep Forever' on we7.
BUY: Amazon UK MP3 // Amazon UK CD // Amazon US MP3 // Amazon US CD
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