Single Review – Wavves – Pony

San Diego’s fuzzed up surf rockers Wavves are to release their fifth studio album V at the end of the week and have unveiled a final single from it before that with ‘Pony’. It is another track with this easily recognisable Californian rock elements with a rapid, rumbling bass line, off shooting guitars and shouting vocals. In that case this song is the living embodiment of the style and like their other singles, offers up nothing you won’t have heard before from them or many of the higher quality acts from the state. So far there’s been little to distinguish between the singles and we can expect the album to be just as musically narrow.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Wavves – Flamezesz

San Diego surfed up alt-rockers Wavves return with another single called ‘Flamezesz’ for their upcoming fifth album V out on October 2nd. A band not really known for producing contemplative or dynamic music, this track is just a further continuation of their dated and monotonous sound. The accelerating rhythm guitars, equally rumbling bass line and shouty vocals sound like they’ve been plucked straight out of a bad late 90’s teen movie. If that’s your sort of thing though, then you’ll love this track.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Crocodiles – Crybaby Demon

Crocodiles - Boys album cover

San Diego’s finest fuzz inducing, lo-fi rockers return with the follow up from 2013’s Crimes of Passion with their upcoming fifth studio album entitled Boys which is out on May 5th. In what they are calling ‘Salsa Rock’ this album recorded in New Mexico, the lead track ‘Crybaby Demon’ certainly has the familiar elements of Crocodiles sound with the distorted vocals and the lo-fi guitars. With this track though, they do a slight bit of rhythmic quality about them and they actually generate another catchy track from it which is no mean feat. The problem with this track is that the duo are in danger is not making any real progress with their sound and if you’re going to boldly stylise your sound as ‘Salsa Rock’ then you need to.

Sunday Suggestion – Crocodiles – Endless Flowers

crocodiles

San Diego’s Crocodiles are some of the best purveyors of Lo-fi, psychedelic noise rock in the sunshine state of California. A fine example of the talents of Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell in this field of musical endeavour, is their 2012 single ‘Endless Flowers’ that is from the album of the same name. The warping rhythms ring out relentlessly throughout with the buoyant bass lines and the hammering percussion. The vocal is standing the middle ground of the instrumentals and delivers the lyrics cleanly, yet still with a hint of the deliberately lethargic and attitude laden. A nice and easy bit of noise pop to get lost in.

Crocodiles – Crimes Of Passion Review

San Diego’s finest Post-Punk, Psychedelic rockers Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell as the driving force of Crocodiles are back with their fourth album: Crimes Of Passion. They have a proper band with them and have The Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner producing so the album looked pretty promising but looking at the early reviews for it, it would seem that it’s been viewed as a very average offering from many so far this year from California. The problem might be that they are getting crowded out by the likes of Bleached, Best Coast, Haim and Deap Vally to name a few. Musically I can’t see where it might fall down.

‘Cockroach’ which I looked at a few months back, comes in straight with the distorted guitars and synths and the two types of percussion of the kit at a more steady rhythm and the tambourine at something more rapid. The vocals too also have a slight distortion and echo to them but are still recorded in a close up, isolated fashion too and they just about sit about sit above the music. The chorus has a nice build up of harmony with the vocals that would get some people singing it back to them. The riffs from the guitar are actually pretty simple and it’s the effects on them that draw out and amplify it’s sound. The bass is sort of drowned out by the opaque sound from the other instrumentals but at times the synth chords shine through to provide a melody to the tune. All in all it’s a pretty solid track with only subtle differences to their sound. ‘Me and My Machine Gun’ has a more clean lead riff cutting through the rest of the music and the vocals seem to be them only thing with any major production on it. The other elements like the bass are much more noticeable and just give the song more depth and a more stripped back feel and a slightly more considered and careful feel too. It does show there are elements of light and shade on the album but this would have been more complete had the vocals been stripped back too.

‘Un chant d’amour’ does have a more dreamy and spaced out feel and is again much more considered in it’s approach. The vocals too, are actually more pure and more stripped back and feature just an echo to it. The acoustic moment of the album; the space the guitars take up on the single don’t exist here which is why everything else is more appreciated. Other songs like ‘I Like It In The Dark’, ‘Teardrop Guitar’ and ‘She Splits Me Up’ use much of the same techniques used as with ‘Cockroach’ and lyrically it doesn’t really differentiate from most songs on the album and at times the vocals do seem like an after-thought. However I think the problem lies in the slow progression their music is taking and I think that’s why Crimes Of Passion is being seen as an ‘O.K’ album. But added to that, there is nothing particularly special about the lyrics or the music but it is delivered well and they have a clear understanding of the composition and inspiration to their songs if perhaps the production was a little like the all guns blazing approach at times but on other occasions it was excellent.

Crocodiles – Crimes Of Passion = 7/10

Images from www.clashmusic.com / thequietus.com