Young Rebel Set are one member lighter but showing no signs of slowing with the release of ‘Crocodile’, their sophomore effort. If you were wondering about the title of the LP, no, the the Stockton-on-Tees band have no designs on becoming reptile keepers, nor are they avid reptile pet collectors. I don’t think, anyway. In a feature with Contactmusic.com, guitarist Mark Evans explained that ‘Crocodile’ is actually a reference to a moment in the film ‘The Krays’, about the gangster twin brothers mentioned in Morrissey’s ‘The Last of the International Playboys’ when the two showed a twin telepathic connection in front of their schoolteacher. For Young Rebel Set, the imagery proved strong and exactly the kind of synchronicity they hoped to achieve in recording the album in Glasgow with frequent Mogwai collaborator and producer Paul Savage.
I have a serious question. Is being loved by Germany the kiss of death for English bands? It seems to have been the way for Hurts, who seem to have also become as revered as gods in Eastern Europe and Russia too, while struggling at home. When ‘Curse Your Love’ came out, I had been advised that Young Rebel Set, similarly, had a large fan base in the Fatherland. The bands don’t look alike or sound alike, so I can’t figure this one out. However, the longest song on ‘Crocodile’, clocking in at over a long 5 minutes, is ‘Berlin Nights’, which might just be a melancholy love letter to Deutschland, as frontman Matty Chipcase recalls “the cold of Berlin nights” in the middle of an affair, while wondering out loud, “who’d want to heed the one who’s carrying the weight of all the world? There must be colour in your eyes.” I like the song, I just think it could have been shortened and made tighter