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It's difficult to imagine Crocodiles' Brandon Welchez and his wife - Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls - lounging around at home in front of the TV. It's difficult to picture them at home at all, quite frankly, given the amount of time they both spend on the road, and indeed the prolific nature of their recorded output over the past five or six years has been impressive enough to have you wondering whether they have a waking second that isn't dedicated to music. There's ups and downs to being so productive, of course; on the one hand, when Dum Dum Girls' latest full-length, Too True, disappointed last January - it was at once both undercooked and over-polished - Penny still had the opportunity to redeem herself a few months later, with the excellent - and sorely underrated - Haunted Hearts LP that she put out with Welchez.

If there's a drawback to such a high rate of return, though, it's that you need a completely reliable quality filter to go along with it; this latest Crocodiles record suggests that Welchez is lacking one. There's a cracking EP in amongst the tracks on Boys, but no shortage of filler, too. You always wondered quite what the next step would be for the band after their last two records saw them effectively complete the transition - and smoothly, too - from the Jesus and Mary Chain copyists they started out as to an indie pop force to be reckoned with; they laid down a real case for their melodic credentials with Endless Flowers in 2012 before cementing them in style a year later, with the superb, Sune Rose Wagner-produced Crimes of Passion.

Perhaps that accounts for the uneven feel of Boys; it feels like the band are in a state of flux. They recorded this album in Mexico City, and some of the standout moments seem to reflect that environment; 'Kool TV', especially, is driven by a Latin beat and some erratic guitar, and the effect it has is profound when set against the more pedestrian likes of 'Crybaby Demon' and 'Do the Void'. Suddenly, Welchez's vocals aren't having to pick up all the slack, and he goes from sounding as if he's posturing on these earlier tracks to genuinely strutting his way through proceedings. Closer 'Don't Look Up' pulls off a similar trick; the beat's slinky, the guitars screech, and it feels as if Crocodiles are genuinely moving forwards.

If they'd packaged those tracks as an EP with the similarly experimental likes of 'Blue', a psychy slow-burner that oozes self-assurance, and 'Peroxide Hearts', which co-opts the menacing guitar that the Haunted Hearts album was scored through with and builds a Black Lips-style pop stomper around it, then a rave review would be in order. As it is, the album's been fleshed out with songs, in the likes of 'Hard' and 'Foolin' Around', that probably wouldn't have made it onto Crimes of Passion and that sound like ever-so-slightly insecure exercises in studied cool - a far cry from the album's more exploratory moments. Close, but no cigar, then - there's enough here, though, to suggest this should prove nothing more than a blip in the long run.

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