Crocodiles are in the midst of a short national tour testing out new material from their forthcoming French Kiss release "Endless Flowers" due out in the U.S. in early June. The new album was written and recorded in Berlin. The San Diego-based band morphs into a five piece touring force when it hits the road.
Barely able to fit all the equipment on the club stage, that didn't stop frontman Brandon Welchez from injecting some raw charisma into the proceedings. Crocodiles assault you with a wave of fuzzy white noise that can sometimes overwhelm the song melodies in a live setting. When the ferociousness drops down a notch like with the title track from their second album "Sleep Forever," the strength of the band on record comes through. The set was way too short and included the just released track "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)."
It was Sunday night and the small but enthusiastic crowd relished the intimate setting. Not much in the way of any audience interaction from Crocodiles, just a cool distant detachment. Despite the muffled sound mix in the room, which tended to bury the lyrics on most songs, the energy level was high. Still, I had the feeling the band was just running through a rehearsal. The light crowd may have been a factor. It was only the 4th date of the tour, so maybe things just haven't come together yet.
The new material tended to sound a little more polished than on previous outings. Maybe with the intent to move to the next level on the music career totem pole. You know, shelf life on indie buzz-bands is notoriously short. Philadelphia's Reading Rainbow opened the show with an impressive two guitar-pronged attack that won the crowd over.
On a side note, Crocodile's lead singer Brandon Welchez is married to Kristin Gundred aka Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls. As matter of fact, the last time Crocodiles played in town it was opening for the Dum Dum Girls at the High Noon Saloon. No sightings of Dee Dee in the Frequency basement dressing room.
Crocodiles Tour Dates
02/28 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry
02/29 - Fargo, ND - Aquarium
03/01 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown Front Room
03/02 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
03/06 - Seattle, WA - The Sunset
03/07 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
03/09 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
03/10 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
03/11 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
03/14 - Austin, TX - The Stage On Sixth
03/17 - Houston, TX - Fitzgerald's
03/18 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada
04/11 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands
04/12 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge