Like many musical duos, Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez of the Crocodiles met during a period of teenage alienation. But the two didn’t meet during school, at a club, coffee shop, or through a mutual friend; Crocodiles was formed through a chance encounter during an anti-fascist rally. The two had formed disdain for their “sprawling military home” of San Diego, and, as singer Welchez remembers it, “A high school full of racists and homophobes. Music was an escape from all that.”
The explosive combination of the Southern California sun, surf, and anger also fuels the duo’s songwriting. The Crocodiles release punk that is both danceable and psychedelic, or maybe dance music that is both gritty and melodic. Forget the labels, the duo make music that is impossible to ignore.
Crocodiles’ first release, Summer of Hate, garnered high praise from critics and the attention of Simian Mobile Discop[;’s James Ford. In order to refine the duo’s angst, Ford decided to record and produce Rowell and Welchez at a home studio located in Joshua Tree, CA. The studio came equipped with an array of retro equipment, including a 1960s organ and a 1950s hollow-body guitar. Utilizing their surroundings, the support of a full band, and bonding over their fascination with krauty rhythms of Harmonia and the Monks, the trio crafted an organic album that centers on escapism and adventure.
This album, entitled Sleep Forever, will be available September 14th via Fat Possum records. Crocodiles will promote the album by releasing a 7-inch single, including the album’s title track plus B-side “Groove Is In The Heart/California Girls” on August 17th. They’ve also put together a West Coast tour beginning later this month. Give the A-side a listen below. Stay tuned for the full tracklist.
The Dum Dum Girls (whose lead singer Kristin Gundred is married to Welchez) will be opening all 8 performances during the tour. Rowell and Welchez will be backed with a full five piece band, including drummer Alianna Kalaba, bassist Marco Gonzalez, and keyboardist Robin Eisenberg. For all those in California and the northwest, eye the dates below.
Crocodiles 2010 Tour Dates:
06/23 – Oakland, CA @ New Parish *
06/25 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre *
06/26 – Seattle, WA @ High Dive *
06/29 – Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp *
06/30 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom Of The Hill *
07/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo *
07/02 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah *
07/03 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar *
* = w/ Dum Dum Girls