When people in the rest of the country or the rest of the world think about California, they think about sunshine and blondes at the beach — still! They still think about that stuff! But those of us who have lived here for more than a couple of weeks know that there are a lot more Californians who don’t fit the stereotype than Californians who do. And sometimes we get pretty angry about the unfairness of it all. That’s part of the reason that in every California beach town you can find kids dressed in black, staying out of the sun, smoking cigarettes, and looking for trouble.
Crocodiles’ leaders Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell are two such misfits. They’ve been playing together since they were teenagers in San Diego bands such as the Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower. They formed Crocodiles in 2008 and quickly started gathering national attention, especially after the band No Age placed Crocodiles’ “Neon Jesus” on their list of best singles of the year. Last year’s Summer of Hate cemented Crocodiles’ reputation as Southern California’s surliest discontents with song titles like “I Wanna Kill,” distorted guitars and snarling vocals from the Jesus and Mary Chain playbook, narcotic rhythms à la the Spacemen 3, and a couple of electronic numbers from the krautrock school.
The forthcoming followup looks as if it will continue in the macabre vein of the debut — it’s titled Sleep Forever. But the title track sounds like a melodic shoegazer anthem, complete with a “la-la-la” chorus. If you want to get druggy about it, it sounds less like heroin and more like ecstasy. See what I mean? California is complicated.
- Friday, August 20, 2010, 8:30 p.m.
2501 Kettner Boulevard,