"Stereogum recently named this San Diego duo the Band to Watch and described them as 'The Velvet Underground swinging Jesus and Mary Chain.' Poppy vocal melodies are crushed with harsh electronic drums or lifted and left floating in spaced-out noise and echo. loud, wiry guitars jab wildly like mutant synapses skirting along a tightrope drone.This is the dark side of the California sun."
Welcome to the art-punk renaissance”, declared Rolling Stone magazine last year, triumphantly heralding Crocodiles’ debut album. It was all just deserves for a San Diego duo who’d spent years kicking against the mundanity of their sprawling military town.
Last year the pair released Summer of Hate, their acclaimed debut album as Crocodiles. The album garnered them endless blog buzz and tours across the US and Europe supporting bands like Holy Fuck and The Horrors. Straddling vast sonic terrains from the jagged guitar stabs of street-strutting lead single ‘Neon Jesus’, to throbbing kraut rock, expansive shoegaze and irresistibly danceable disco-punk jams, Summer Of Hate drew comparisons with The Velvets and Primal Scream.
Sharing both Brandon’s love for girl groups and punk, and his feeling of small-town-alienation, was guitarist Charles Rowell. Meeting at an anti-fascist rally when they were teenagers, the two have been in countless bands together since.
As singer Brandon Welchez remembers it: “My neighborhood was just so boring that a lot of my friends started doing hard drugs at an early age. A lot of kids were growing up too fast, like, in a gross way…losing teeth. Plus my high school was full of racists and homophobes. Music was an escape from all that.”
Significantly, Summer of Hate also caught the ear of one James Ford - Simian Mobile Disco man and producer of Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons and Florence and the Machine amongst others. Together, all three headed into the desert in early 2010 to create ‘Summer Of Hate’’s psychedelic, hypnotic and anthemic follow-up. An album that would later be christened, somewhat fittingly: Sleep Forever
“It was this home made studio in the middle of Joshua Tree that was just bulging with vintage equipment,” remembers Brandon. “You’d open a cupboard and a 60s organ would fall out or there’d be a 1950s hollow-body guitar under your bed!”
James Ford adds, “The studio in Joshua tree was a perfect place to record. It’s a magical place and the studio had lots of otherworldly toys and instruments to play with! We bonded over a love of Harmonia and the Monks and got excited by the idea of combining these krauty rhythms and textures with the bands' psychedelic songs and melodies.