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Endless Flowers

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Endless Flowers

12" LP

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Quick Overview

Recorded in Berlin last summer, Endless Flowers is the first album to feature Crocodiles' full five-piece line up, which has evolved from their 2008 genesis as the core duo of singer/guitarist Brandon welchez and guitarist Charles Rowell to now include keyboardist Robin Eisenberg, bassist Marco Gonzalez, and drummer Anna Schuite. Endless Flowers follows in the footsteps of the band's stellar two previous releases (2010's Sleep Forever and 2009's debut Summer of Hate), while adding a refined cohesion and unmistakable sunny-ness to their glorious noise- and echo-cloaked pop. The title track opener is four and a half minutes of soaring, alarm-ringing guitars, while "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)" comes next with a resounding, punk-inflected charge. The 7-plus minute "My Surfing Lucifer" begins with two minutes of grimy, hissed spoken word before ascending to glammy, distorted heights; the bass-heavy and buzzing "Dark Alleys" is a motorik march; and the swirling "Bubblegum Trash" has a sweet, dirty charm. Nearly all are single-worthy, and are embellished with Welchez's newly forward-mixed croon. Crocodiles are: Brandon Welchez (vocals, guitar), Charles Rowell (guitar), Marco Gonzalez (bass), Anna Schulte (drums), and Robin Eisenburg (keyboards).


When San Diego noise-pop duo Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell released their attitude-laden debut Summer of Hate in 2009, many people highlighted the schizophrenic nature of their sound. While warped, sardonic, and overtly confrontational indie disco diatribes such as “I Wanna Kill” sat alongside blissful, peace-loving moments of dream pop such as “Here Comes the Sky,” it felt like the band’s very foundations were built on treating love and death as entirely adverse, separately capsulated themes. A similarly divided approach ensued on 2010’s Sleep Forever, but the jump in production levels, instigated by Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford, made owners of both albums feel as if they’d just upgraded to “Crocodiles deluxe.” On the Berlin-recorded Endless Flowers, it’s hard not to feel that the circles on Welchez and Rowell’s thematic Venn diagram have been forced together this time around to produce maximum overlap. This self-produced offering has a sunnier disposition than its predecessors, and the recurrent "flower" motif -- symbolic of love, death and fragile beauty -- provides the album with lyrical focus and continuity. Crucially, their bold decision to expand to a five-piece also delivers sonic cohesion, allowing one propulsive, hook-filled tune to bleed seamlessly into the next. Recalling the Cure at their most carefree, both the bittersweet “Endless Flowers” and the crunching slice of power pop that is “Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9),” are the kind of euphoric set-openers designed to deliver broad appeal for a band that’s lived a little under the shadow of lo-fi compatriots the Dum Dum Girls since their inception. Although Welchez’s wife -- and lead Dum Dum Girl -- didn’t assist with the recording of this particular album, her presence is felt throughout. She appears to be the muse for many of the tracks here -- most obviously on the sprightly “No Black Clouds for Dee Dee” -- inadvertently confirming from afar that love will conquer all. From the outset, while the refrain of the title track declares “our endless flowers will grow,” it conjures images of the end of the 1968 Beatles movie Yellow Submarine, where our heroes defeat the Blue Meanies with spontaneously sprouting psychedelic flora. However, it’s not all roses, so to speak. “Hung Up on a Flower” finds Welchez “under nauseous skies” in a nightmarish, seemingly drug-fueled, limbo with imagery straight out of a Salvador Dali painting; while the sleazy, two-minute sound collage that splits the album in two provides another disorientating shaft of darkness. Elsewhere, the Motorik and balanced “Dark Alleys” finds a groove that “caresses and distresses all at once” and, yet again, Welchez finds respite from his self-loathing by thinking of his cherished wife and indie goddess. While Crocodiles have previously weathered their fair share of Jesus and Mary Chain comparisons, on Endless Flowers they wisely embrace that amorous but no less powerful approach to indie pop originally deployed by charismatic acts such as the Modern Lovers and Different Class-era Pulp. Pleasingly, it’s a guise that fits them as perfectly as their sunglasses.

Additional Information

Artist Crocodiles
Track Listing 1 Endless Flowers - 4:35 2 Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9) - 3:11 3 No Black Clouds for Dee Dee - 3:10 4 Electric Death Song - 3:48 5 Hung Up on a Flower - 6:35 6 My Surfing Lucifer - 5:04 7 Dark Alleys - 5:25 8 Bubblegum Trash - 4:09 9 Welcome Trouble - 2:49 10 You Are Forgiven - 2:42

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