First there is nothing. Then, dark ambient frequencies, an electro beat, synths, tight drums, guitar fuzz… Beautiful. After about two minutes, we finally hear the first vocals from the lead track off of the Crocodiles’ sophomore effort Sleep Forever, foreshadowing the musical journey your speakers are about to undertake. Hailing from San Diego, the Crocodiles have produced a perfect stew of guitar fuzz, ambient noise, catchy choruses and punk-pop progressions.
The lead track “Mirrors” is one of many gems on this record. The song builds beautifully to a crescendo of noise and melody. “Hollow Hollow Eyes” continues the balancing act combining echoes, feedback and reverb elements while keeping every other note discernible. The title track of the album is a highlight with a super catchy chorus and more of that Crocodile stew—ditto for “Billy Speed.”
“Hearts of Love” adds xylophones to the mix and the finisher, “All My Hate and All My Hexes Are For You” closes out the journey of ambient disorder with an electro beat and more of a stripped down feel while adding a synth motif that sounds like it was played on a classic 1970s electric Harpsichord.
Sleep Forever is extremely tight given the looseness of background flutter. There is a sense of polished noise and the record is sure to surprise many old fans while attracting new ones. It will be interesting to see if they can duplicate this perfection and balance into their live show. Nevertheless, the studio effort is an instant hit and grows even stronger over time.