NEPA Scene Staff

California garage pop rockers Crocodiles surface in Wilkes-Barre on April 30

California garage pop rockers Crocodiles surface in Wilkes-Barre on April 30
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From a press release:

Wilkes-Barre arts and entertainment collective Get Cryptic announced today that San Diego garage pop band Crocodiles will be surfacing at The Other Side in Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, April 30.

Doors open at 9 p.m., and tickets are $10. The show is 21+.

Crocodiles have always traveled their own particular road of excess: playing, recording, dreaming, and scheming in various far-flung corners of the globe. For their fifth album, “Boys,” the boys decamped to Mexico City, where producer Martin Thulin captured this latest psych-pop masterpiece. Trashy in some places and beautiful in others, this colorful album sees the band revisiting many of the sonic Crocodilian themes that have earned them worldwide acclaim while also cooking with many new flavors. It will be available on May 12 via Zoo Music/Frenchkiss Records.

Whilst at the same time playing in an early incarnation of Dum Dum Girls (Brandon Welchez is married to frontwoman Dee Dee Penny), Crocodiles initially gained exposure in 2008 after fellow Southern California noise pop band No Age included their single “Neon Jesus” in a list of the year’s best songs. This led to the duo being signed to Mississippi-based label Fat Possum Records, who released the band’s self-recorded debut album “Summer of Hate” in April 2009.

After touring in support of their debut full-length, the first half of 2010 saw Crocodiles go into a studio in the Mojave Desert with British producer James Ford. The resultant sessions comprise the band’s second album, “Sleep Forever.” The record was released by Fat Possum in the September of that year.

In September 2010, Crocodiles released an instrumental song, “Kill Joe Arpaio,” referencing the controversial anti-immigrant Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio heard the song and responded using Twitter, “Msg for the San Diego band ‘Alligators’ who wrote new song called ‘Kill Joe Arpaio’: BITE ME.” Arpaio also referenced the song during an appearance on Phoenix TV channel KPHO, saying, “I’m a little concerned about the music, where kids can get this type of music. I think it sends a bad message. I understand freedom of speech, but there has to be a line of threatening a law enforcement official.” Crocodiles responded via Spin Magazine, saying, “Maybe if the song was called ‘I’m Gonna Kill Joe Arpaio,’ he’d have a case, but what we are attacking is the attitudes and policies he represents. In reality, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that his much-deserved heart attack comes soon; the world can always use one less racist.”

In September 2011, Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez self-produced their third album, “Endless Flowers,” in Berlin, Germany. The album was released in spring of 2012. Guests on the album include reggae singer Hollie Cook and Dum Dum Girls’ Penny, performing backups on the track “My Surfing Lucifer” under the moniker Les Fleurs Du Mal Girl’s Choir.

In April 2013, Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez recorded their fourth album, “Crimes of Passion,” produced by Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes in Los Angeles, California. Guests on the album include Gregg Foreman of Delta 72 and Cat Power, soul singer Afrodyete of Breakestra, as well as Welchez’s brother, jazz musician Josh Welchez.

In addition to their own recordings, Crocodiles have collaborated with Television Personalities’ frontman Dan Treacy as well as the Dum Dum Girls. Although initially gigging as a two-piece, Welchez and Rowell have expanded the band to include a live drummer, bassist, and keyboard player. Musicians in the live band have included members of Blank Dogs, The Slits, A Place To Bury Strangers, Cat Power, and Dum Dum Girls.

Outside of their activities with Crocodiles, Rowell has released music with Hollie Cook under the name Psychic Dancehall, while Welchez has released music with wife Dee Dee under the name Haunted Hearts. Both Rowell and Welchez have collaborated on poetry books with various friends, including late Cold Cave member Justin Benoit. Additionally, Welchez and Dee Dee release records for other bands under the Zoo Music label.