CD Title: His Name is Stan…
Label: Independent Release (2018)
Rating: Texas Prog that’s the real deal!
I always knew that Austin Texas was a hotbed for music but what I didn’t know was that over the past few years there has been a budding Progressive Rock movement growing in Austin. I didn’t know it until I received an email about the five member outfit that go by the name Crocodile. At first I was skeptical. A Prog band from Austin Texas? Seriously? And then I listened to their forty-minute album His Name is Stan… and I was impressed! This is the real deal! Take equal parts of early Crack the Sky and mix with a bit of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and you just get a glimpse of the band’s proggy style. Influenced by the greats from the seventies Crocodile, spearheaded by guitarist and vocalist Kevin Sims create a rock based prog that incorporates a wide variety of other quirky influences that when blended together create some classic Ameri-Prog where the guitar takes centre-stage. It never loses its rock foundation but at the same time is so much more. Full of unusual musical riffs and non-traditional stylistic motifs, the overall tone is jaunty and happy making room at times for many starts and stops and even some aggressive grand scale crescendos. Complex and intricate musical change-ups with all kinds of recurring themes rule the day. Lyrically, it’s a kind of concept album based on some of Sims real life experiences, but it’s the music that stands out even to the point of having a couple dramatic instrumentals like the spectacular multi-part extravaganza “Sawhorse” [7:46]. This is great stuff and a real surprise. If you enjoy bands like those mentioned or Spock’s Beard and Forever Twelve you have to check out Crocodile. These guys are a great addition to the Prog pantheon. If this is the beginning I look forward to what else they’ve got in their musical kit-bag. Recommeneded.