Hot Blooded Reptiles: Crocodiles @ The Rickshaw, 8/19/09

The Rickshaw is an out of sight, out of mind venue for me. I’ve seen some phenomenal shows here: M.I.A., Goblin Cock….but it’s generally the epicenter for the hip young crowd where scene is first and music is second. Which means HRC only goes there for must see shows.

I walk in to the venue and three girls are on stage rattling out poppy rock. Pens, from the UK, seem almost purposefully amateurish. The chords go off key, the drumming off beat, as the girls spend their time looking at each other and half giggling. I cringed.

After waiting a while, the lights suddenly go off. And they stay off for a near uncomfortable amount of time before the stage is backlit by four lights and the two members of Crocodiles are already standing there. The duo roars to life- a barrage of guitar feedback and a drum machine fill the room. Singer Brandon Welchez animates, dancing around the stage in his moccasins, all the while looking like a very young Bob Dylan. Guitarist Charles Rowland wears Ray Bans as he shreds away, seeming detached and in his own little world.

One song leaks into another, their throwback yet fresh psych pop echoes The Jesus & Mary Chain and slides in with The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols’ sound nicely. Crocodiles has a great energy that the crowd seems to find infectious- three kids with Xs on their hands dance wildly in the front row. ‘I Wanna Kill’ has Welchez shooting into the crowd with a finger gun. Not a discernible word is spoken the entire time. ‘Neon Jesus’ wraps up the 45 minute set and the audience stands there and refuses to believe it is done. But, hey- no more songs to play.

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I feel like I saw the beginning of something good tonight. I expect great things to come from this band. Don’t fuck it up, guys!

Crocodiles will be opening for The Horrors on their September and October dates- which is a very smart pairing.

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