peer review

i wanted to put a 'proper' review of crocodileopolis up, but it wouldn't make any sense without talking about how far they've come since their first album, when they were known as 'the christ punchers' (along with several other bands). so here are them reviews.

1: a disappointing evening with the christ punchers.

1. bollocks on tv
a quality straight forward performance of a classic punk song. oddly for 'level 1-1', thom takes the lead vocal, which is very rare in my experience of the band.

2. smooth
the simpons' bass line, gang of four-style drums and random guitar (in fact it is reminiscant of that band's fundamental track 'anthrax') with carlos santana's ode to moisturiser sang and screamed over the top. genius.

3. i'm david bowie
this is not a song. there is no riff, no lyrics or anything. they've got instruments and microphones but don't let that fool you. one of the defining dildano songs, certainly of this era.

4. "doo"
the first (and only) track on the album that sounds like it was recorded properly. a twin-peaks style ballad with wailing early 90's grunge guitar solo. also the first song on the album to refer (possibly) to poo, seemingly dildano's favourite matter. the ending is so good, made better by that little lo-fi bit in the middle that pre-empts it. i swear most of what makes stuff good is the idea of seeding previews of what happens later in things. like harry hill.

5. jump (for my love)
i don't get it. it's fun though.

6. go skippy
"ooh, skippy, you're covered in shit"
"run to the bathroom, skippy".
lovely. what's the word for 'good filler'? something that's not epic but makes an album good. that's what this is.

7. i shit hitler
"everybody dies mr. bond" is definitely the best hook line on the album, and this song is probably lyrically the best track on the album. a steady, grungey riff that carries the whole song.

8. shit eat
in very much the same vain as the last song (unusual for this hugely eclectic record). i'm giggling as i listen to this song, it's so stupid. and that's good - music that sounds this genuinely awful in so many ways, and yet wonderful in others is a real achievement. it's like the second level joke - the joke itself isn't funny, but the context that the joke exists in is. and that's the joke.

9. 21 seconds
er.. yes, it is 21 seconds long, and it makes the album one track longer, but other than that i don't really see the point of this song. it's not really worth writing any more about.

i mean, it's like i'm david bowie really, there's no riff or lyrics, but this one doesn't have anyone pretending to be david bowie over the top, which is the real prize of that song - why on earth would bowie make something that sounded like this? i suppose this song works as an insight into dildano's mind, but it would have been better as a hidden track between two others, like the wierd bits on 'whatever and ever amen' by bf5.

10. mr. johnston
i wasn't taught by mr johnston, so i didn't really get the reference. this sounds like nirvana.

11. windows and carpets
this is it, the genius track of the album. prize winning nonsense punk.

12. bang bang
another cover, and i don't think this works. it's quite funny and it feels right as a last track, but the song itself is a bit overbaked. but it's that nice quiet 'ending' to the album.

secret track.
how long can you listen to it for? i've often thought the best way to finish an album is by making the listener press stop.

2: crocodileopolis

1. sandy
instantly, it's obvious the band have changed since last time. this is the only cover on the album, and it's a proper reworking, instead of the jokey brat-core versions. there are synth noises in the mix. it's still intended for humour, as a metal cover of what sounds lyrically like a 50's do-wop song. and it kind of works

2. the ultimate price
and now we're into really different territory - only two albums into their career and already dildano are using acoustic guitars and bongos (later). it opens slowly, a patient strumming morrocon flavoured melody, with what sounds like one of those araby instruments, but it could be more synth. and then theres the obligatory grind ending, which i especially love on this track. it sounds good. this isn't right. this isn't what i expected from this band!

3. touching, opening ceremony
that is the very best song title on the album. more acoustic balladry, things that have been recorded properly, but not played quite right, layer upon layer. and a good chord progression!

4. don't be stupid
what the fuck? they've turned into weezer! close in flavour to '"doo"', but marginally less drippy, this is another track that can be credited to overdubs being used as an instrument in there own right, with the big train idea of 'do it until it's not funny, and then keep doing it until it's funny again'.

5. massive isreal
more great titlage, and another 'proper' song, with an actual riff. quite good.

6. on the wing
this is just great. a really good proper song that sounds good, and even mentions poo (i miss the fecal obsessions of the old days, but one must develop a taste). with it's experimental structure and sounds, it is an impressionistic tale of a pigeon caught in a net. fantastic and moving.

7. shickon
rock an' droll! a fine attempt at digital jap-core.

8. what is wrong with life?
you weren't meant to be a good band. you weren't meant to use bongos or have special sounds or catchy riffs. i don't normally like punk funk, but this is just the knowing side of cool. it's good. a different mix would sound great at an indie disco.

9. sweet as a man.
a lovely string arrangemed ballad, done quite straight, without even funny lyrics. tongue in cheek, but not sarcastic.

classic old skool metal, spinal tap style. the soundscape intro is really effective, but the breakdown isn't all it could have been. still kicks the shit out of the darkness though. this is the new classic dildano song, in some ways, certainly live it was mind blowing, especialy with the crowd getting behind it.

11. when satan flies
hilariously, riotously bad. this is what the old stuff sounds like done the new way - worse than it could have ever been before. it's great.

12. you don't know what you're doing
lovely hypnotic rock, with a great locust-esque blast-break, cut with some silly ska music, about two minutes into it's eight minute bulk. and it's very nice, very different to 'satan', with a good progressive edge.

altogether, it's marvellous how far this project has come. they've made the leap from a fecally obsessed 'crap pub covers band' to poole's most experimental brat-punk feel-good terrorists in a few short clich├ęs. and i for one am very happy with that.

you can download some exclusives from their myspac, including what i think is their best song ever, 'tennis books'.

i don't want to do anymore today. i've got a job (!) to go to tomorrow so i need to sort myself out for that.

but have you heard the new berzerker material? ok, you've probably not. but it's weak. so, so weak. what went wrong? i know many people probably reading (sheesh, i'll be lucky [boy, i've not had a sheesha pipe for ages]) hated the berzerker, but everything that was good about them has gone. look at their rubbish new video. what's wrong? well, they've lost the masks and so now they look like boring, slightly pissed off people. you can suddenly understand luke kenny's lyrics, and they're terrible, he's gone all personal instead of angry at everything in the whole world. and he doesn't look scary at all. the song sounds like it's in a major key, and while it's still quite fast, it doesn't feel heavy at all (maybe that's just the compression). it feels almost jaunty.
compared to the absolutely crushing new decapitated song, it's just a bit pathetic. he's been retreading the same formula for the last two albums, which is basically the first album but cleaner. but it's ok, because there's a new cult of luna album out in two months, and it was recorded in the woods.
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