Friday, October 16, 2015

Does Your Fish Approve?

I like records too you know.
After a spin of the first Crocodiles 45, Neon Jesus, VVer #2 popped on Santurce, the first 45 of local DC band Shark Week.  She then turned to the fish tank, directly positioned next to the record player.  There sat Bella, the bushy-nosed plecostomus (basically a little sucker-mouthed catfish), out of her normal hiding area, at the front of the tank, and enthralled with the sonics infiltrating her water waves.  The VVers have no shame in the fact that they (mostly VVer #2) often talk to their fish.  VVer #2 loudly proclaimed, "Bella!  You like the Crocodiles?!" then realized, "I know it's a scary band name for a fish, but the music is good, right?..." then remembered, "Eeep, I'm playing Shark Week for you now; also a band name you probably don't like! ... Sorry!"  Bella definitely shook her tail to signal her disapproval of all this banter.  (Ok, it's possible that part didn't happen.)

Coincidentally, Crocodiles and Shark Week are tour buddies and both have new LPs out this year which are well worth your cash money.  Just don't tell your fish what music they are listening to and they will be happy as clams!

Translated from Fish to Human by VVer #2:

Crocodiles - Boys - 2015
This one will have you water-bobbing and fin-flipping in no time, especially with opening track "Crybaby Demon."  Continuing the Crocodiles' trend towards electrifried-rock over catchy beats, Boys skews more pop than their earlier LPs.  Less of an extended backstroke and more of a cannonball.  Songs tend to stick to under five minutes and are full of sing-a-long-able vocals.  The stylistic shift works well within Crocodiles' sound, but VVer #2 yearns for the loose, grungy format of their first LP, Summer of Hate (based on the ridiculous amount of times that record is played in the house).  [blurp, blurp, blurp] Other standout tracks from Boys include "Foolin' Around" which features what sounds like a digital yo-yo (with a sweet music video) and "Kool TV" with its punchy, samba-swing beat.  "Do the Void" is an awesomely cacophonous track with nasal, high-pitched vocals from Crocodile-wife Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls.  "Blue" and "Don't Look Up" slow down the tempo to exude a tropical beat, that might be the product of recording this one in Mexico. [blurp, blurp, move it guppy, blurp]

Shark Week - Beach Fuzz - 2015
After pre-ordering Beach Fuzz, Shark Week's debut LP, (yes, fish use the inter-webs) the first listen was a bit surprising.  The A-side is what was expected sonically from the DC/Baltimore based group.  Think, retro 70s punk, with a hearty dash of soulful surf, a lavish display of confident vocals, and plenty of fluidity in tempo. [blub, it's got me swimming like crrazzyy, blup!]  Then on a flip of the record, "Honeybee" evokes a Freddie Mercury-esque performance that will make you think this is a strange album.  [blurp, ohhh algae, blurp]  Just keep listening to it repeatedly and that thought will be nullified by all the extremely catchy, fuzzy, riff-rock that ensues.  Every fish knows, strange albums actually the best, right?  The yelping in "Desire" works really well for this track as does the thunderous drumming, ominous bass, and double-time tambourine.  "Scratching Post" is a slow burn at its utmost; possibly the poetic lyrics of a relationship sinking into the abyss. [blup, or getting sucked into the filter, blurp, blup]  "Gone" is a harshly emotional song coming from the depths of the past.  [blub, blub, it's a real fin slap to the face, urp]  Somehow mid-song, you realize that the whining guitar solo evokes 80s hair metal ballads, then you laugh, because it is great.  "Play it as it Lays" is an epic seven-minute burner, full of echoing vocals, drawn-out instrumentals, extreme tempo shifts, and glistening maracas that close out the LP.  Relentless!  Floating around for a week in the shark tank and loving it!

Oh by the way, the people that feed me, clean my tank, and sometimes appear with their giant heads peering through my glass walls have seen both Crocodiles and Shark Week loads of times and say they put on a great show.  They're even talking about plans to see them on October 20th at Comet Ping Pong in DC.  Think they have a travel tank for me?

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