The Good Ship Rediscovery: Crocodiles - Summer of Hate

We all forget about the older stuff from time to time, in our quest to stay up to speed with the latest and greatest. But one should always respect their elders. So don’t forget about them, y’hear?

Something about summer pulsates with over-stimulation. Even the fauna takes on a threatening advance as branches become arms and reach out for an embrace. Blood runs hotter, fuses are shorter, and people want to kill, tonight. At least, that's how it goes on the 2009 Crocodiles LP Summer of Hate.

Y'all know how much I adored their 2010 effort Sleep Forever, and I have to admit, there are things about its predecessor that I like even better. There's a delicious abrasiveness to the songs, more than a little confrontational and seeping spite and a touch of malice. The angst is palpable, but so too is the beauty. What the core duo of Crocodiles does, they do very well. All that furious noise, the blistering racket, the drum machine beats of death and the snarling sneer of the vocals, not to mention the hungry wolf wail of the's almost too much at times.

Bonus track "Neon Jesus" is the crowning glory of the record, all scuzzy swagger and deliciously belligerent vocals pair perfectly with the punchy drum beat mechanics. "Flash of Light" emits a slightly laconic bombastic attitude, rolling spikily along with quite a chip on its shoulder. "Sleeping With the Lord" follows right on its heels, a transcendent live wire of a song, lovely in its way, fraught with nervous tics but also in possession of some of the prettiest vocals on the album. The title track is (yet) another high point, full of throwback walls of sound (and tambourine, oh yes) and a sticky drone.

Summer of Hate is hot, sweaty, crackling with unnerving energy. It is the sound of summer confusion, and you need it in your life.


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