Brad Cromer was the first person who came to mind when I thought about creating this column. Historically speaking this guy nails it every time, and not to mention he’s one of the best dudes riding a skateboard today. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a part of his that 1.) I didn’t like, and 2.) was edited to a bad song. Let’s really think about it.
Skate FL 2: Before The Black Keys were cool, then played-out, then uncool again, Brad skated to a track from their debut album in 2008’s Skate FL 2. I’m gonna go out there and say it that this was the first Black Keys song I had ever heard. “Brooklyn Bound” is really unlike any of their shit that has come out in the past 4 years, and happens to work really well with Brad’s skating. Then in a twist of fate just crazy enough that it might work, Brad’s second song comes on and it’s fucking Radiohead. It seems almost impossible to pull off Radiohead nowadays after what Dill did so long ago, much like how Pulp’s catalogue has remained virtually untouched since PJ used “Like a Friend”. The skate gods were smiling on Brad when editing time came along however, resulting in an awfully pretty two-song part. Great Job.
Welcome to Krooked: This Must Be The Place. This must be the crown friggen jewel of skate songs. Holy Jesus. If I were Billboard I’d create a Top 1 Most Beautiful Songs Ever Written list just for this song. I’m not quite sure how this one slipped through the cracks, but I sure am glad Brad got to skate to it. And it was all so perfectly timed. Wanna make the best first impression as the new dude on Krooked? Skate to the most tasteful song imaginable. God damn they just don’t make em’like this anymore.
Krooked Naughty: Showcasing once again that he was ahead of the curve, Brad’s part in Krooked’s VHS-themed Naughty was set to Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. I went into this entry thinking I would try to explain why I back his use of Ariel Pink, but I figured for once in my life I’d stick up for myself and just say it: I like Ariel Pink’s music. Especially here, Ariel’s lo-fi vibe completely matched the skating. Watching this part in 2014 is almost like watching a really good, Oscar worthy iPhone edit…I think that’s a compliment? Either way, Brad nails it on the board and Ariel nails it on whatever assortment of tape cassettes and instruments he used to record that song.
Shred Shed 2/Lo-Fi/Brad Cromer Turns Pro: The kid likes Shoe Gaze, so what? Though inaccessible at times, here we’ve got three examples of justice being served to noise rock. “Just Like Honey” is the real showstopper of the bunch, but altogether not a moment goes by during these parts where I’m bummed. The evidence is piling up.
Shape Deuce: If you’re looking for a healthy dosage of psychadelia and skateboarding, look no further than Cromer’s Shape Deuce part. Edited to TWO (as if one wasn't enough to melt your brain) Frank Zappa songs that basically fuze together at one point, this part transports you into the body of a drunk, stoned, and talented skateboarder with nothing to lose. It all happens so fast, and before you know it your boy is making boardslides on ledges cool again. Given the endless party vibe that was Shape Deuce, Cromer and Zappa fit together like two peas in a pod...or two tabs of acid and a 12 pack of Milwaukee's Best.
Holy Cow: Alright Brad, how many parts you gonna pump out here? I could easily just look through what I’ve written so far and give you the actual number, but I’m gonna say we’re at at least 27 parts by now. All of em’ have had good songs, yada yada yada. Here we’ve got a sort of forgotten part, put out at a time where splicing in 80’s movie clips during the intro was still becoming a thing. Cue the soundtrack though and boom we’ve got a Cure song you’ve probably never heard of before. The fucked up thing is that it actually works.
He can’t be stopped. Or can he? OK. I’ll admit, I did some research and it turns out Brad skated to a Nickelback song one time a little ways back. Idunno man, sort of backing that too though. Sometimes when life hands you lemons you’ve gotta just say fuck lemons and bail. I think that’s probably where Brad’s head was at when he put that part out. Look where he is now.
*UPDATE* - The missed pun opportunity up there can't be ignored. He skated to a Nickelback song. I should have written that I NICKELBACKED it. I'm sorry guys, it will never happen again.