Music Review

Crocodiles- Upside Down in Heaven

todayApril 13, 2023 175

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By – Kristi Houk

Recommended if you like: White Reaper, Fireworks, The Ramones, The Strokes, The Replacements

People try to put us d-down (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Just because we get around (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
Things they do look awful c-c-cold (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
I hope I die before I get old (talkin’ ’bout my generation)

-“My Generation” The Who, 1965

 

“Degeneration,” the first single off Crocodiles (Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell) 8th release, Upside Down in Heaven is a nod to The Who’s 1965 classic, “My Generation” complete with piss, vitriol, Fender Strat, and sly play on the lyric: “Talkin bout my degeneration.” It must also be said that Welchez has his Elvis Costello moves down pat. And if those influences aren’t enough for you, in a recent interview when talking about the single, Rowell quipped, “Maybe I was chasing that elusive Stiff records sound or simply trying something that would make Westerberg smile.” (He had me at Westerberg.)

 

No song is over 3:30 (as it should be) and The Ramones are definitely an influence throughout. My favorite track, “I’ve Become What I Fear Most” is a no-frills, vocals way up front, shot of self-loathing: “I’ve become the thing I said I’d never be…” I shudder to think at all the spit coating the microphones during the recording. It’s refreshing when a band doesn’t take themselves too seriously and sometimes all you need is 3 chords and the truth.

Upside Down in Heaven is a fun ride but don’t let the pop melodies on the record overshadow the slag of discontent that permeates the lyrics. On “Love Beyond the Grave” the sentiment is bittersweet:

Just allow your eyes
to adjust to the darkness inside
while we share our final breath

If it’s true that power pop/garage rock is having a bit of a renaissance, then this album is proof and I am here for it.

Stand-out Tracks: “Love Beyond the Grave” “Degeneration” “I’ve Become What I Fear Most”

Written by: kristi houk

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