Crocodile — His Name Is Stan and He's a Bad Motherf**ker
((Not on label) no#, 2018, LP / CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-05-02
His Name Is Stan and He's a Bad Motherf**ker is the debut album of a new progressive rock band from Austin, Crocodile. Band leader, composer, and guitarist Kevin Sims has created a progressive rock opera the likes of which we have not seen in decades. Drawing on influences from Gentle Giant, Genesis, Jethro Tull, and PFM, His Name Is Stan and He's a Bad Motherf**ker tells the story of Kevin's first job as a teenager doing high quality construction and remodeling work for Stan. Stan was a workaholic and perfectionist, something that Kevin could not relate to at that young age. He dreaded the start of each day and longed for the end. This feeling of dread is reflected in the opening track “(pre)Dawn of Stan.” Here we first encounter Crocodile’s powerful symphonic rock, propelled by Ted Thomas’ (Thirteen of Everything and Virtual Noise DJ on KOOP) heavy bass, Philip Spann’s keyboards (Mellotron and synths), and Greg Seale’s drumming. They do not sound at all like their influences above, but there is something elusive that keeps making me think of Gormenghast. Kevin starts his work day on track two, “I Was a Worker,” with its melodic and mechanical music-box-like intro into an upbeat and complex song, with Stan's refrain “Sure do need you to work… forever.” Track three is the instrumental, “Sawhorse,” with its fantastic interplay of progressive blues rock, European sound, synths, and a dash of Krautrock. “Stan” follows and emphasizes Stan’s work ethic and attention to detail told as a hard rock / jazz fusion song with a bit of dissonance and a cool guitar solo. When we reach mid-day Kevin takes a short cheerful symphonic instrumental break “Interlude (Lunchtime).” Then it is back to work with the complex “Stir the Stain (F**k the Door)” that relates an incident when one day Kevin dropped an open gallon of dark brown stain in the living room of a beautiful white carpeted house. And this was the only time that he had ever heard Stan curse. To close the album, we fast forward 25 years to the present day where Kevin comes to the realization that “I Am Stan.” This closing track combines western swing with intricate progressive rock, something completely new, that moves through numerous mood and tempo changes. His Name Is Stan and He's a Bad Motherf**ker is an impressive debut album, especially so since it is released on vinyl, and certainly one of the best from the Austin progressive rock scene.
Related artist(s): Crocodile
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more