San Diego’s Crocodiles have aggressive dreamy aural assault covered. Sleep Forever showcases their penchant for doom magnificently, and tips a hat to past influences without embodying them entirely.
The swirling guitar noise introduction to Sleep Forever, courtesy of first track Mirrors, is eerily reminiscent of The Horrors’ Primary Colours, the irony of which is later validated with a Horrors remix of said song included as a bonus exclusive track. As a synth harpsichord builds up in the background, percussion kicks in along with lyrics of ‘When you meet yourself in mirrors you will know that you’ve done nothing of your own’ delivered with silky precision by Brandon Welchz, who sounds incredibly similar to Ian McCulloch.
Of course the music takes notes from Echo & The Bunnymen and The Jesus & Mary Chain, frankly it’s an inevitability when following in the footsteps of shoegaze masters. Yet tracks like Stoned To Death manage to combine the downbeat lyricism and vocals to sharp synths more at home on a Suicide record. It’s woozy pop perfection, and in this case of the aforementioned track, the title says it all.
Hollow Hollow Eyes is a swaying, swinging affair with grinding guitars and a wonderfully goth pop vibe. Welchz and musical partner Charles Rowell lift the record off its hinges with screeching guitar solos and echoing vocals, all under three minutes.
The album feels complete without bonus tracks, however no harm is done with the Plastic Bertrand meets Cramps rendition of Elton Motello’s Jet Boy Jet Girl. As for the Groove Is In The Heart/California Girls mash, let’s be grateful they went for Beach Boys on the latter.