Optimism at its Best
By Jasen T. Davis
The Crocodiles keep the vibes positive and gear up to rock The Glass House
The video for the song “Endless Flowers” by Crocodiles is a nostalgia-drenched visual time trip into the teen idol hits of the ’50s. In the video Brandon Welchez, lead singer for the band, serenades a young girl who is absolutely insane over the attention with an infatuation that goes well beyond safe. Singing in the corner of her room, decked out in glossy black Ray Ban Wayfayers and a leather jacket, Welchez is the perfect, crooning heartthrob. Eventually the girl’s emotions take over and the wild waif gouges his eyes out in a bacchanalian display of violence and lust.
“The director had a pretty clear aesthetic that he worked off of. He was into a lot of work by John Waters, especially Crybaby, so it affected the look,” says Welchez, who certainly enjoyed being a part of the bloody, satirical look of the music video. “The director was pretty good at bringing out the dark and humorous side of things.”
Formed in 2008 by Welchez and fellow musician Charles Rowell, the Crocodiles are an indie pop band that can be compared to early groups like Gary Glitter or Tommy James & The Shondells, but are also similar to modern, post-punk-tinged acts with the same reverb fuzz flair like The Raveonettes or the Jesus and Mary Chain. But as much as the current influence is good, clean fun, Welchez points out that the band’s current sound is more of a phase than a permanent category.
“When you get into self-definition you are just creating walls for yourself,” he says. By that Welchez means the current sound that the Crocodiles are known for after three albums (which include 2009’s Summer of Hate and 2010’s Sleep Forever) is just temporary, and the groovy duo certainly intend to experiment with different genre’s in the future. With that in mind, why adopt a name that only compromises potential future creativity?
“When we first started, we had a vague concept of having a futuristic, garage-style sound,” Welchez says. Since it’s just Rowell and him calling the shots, it was easy to playing the music without conforming to any particular genre. “After a while we just kind experimented until we ended up where we are, now.” The one thing the two agreed on was that they wouldn’t be a part of any scene. “If Charles came up with a rap song, I’d sing it,” he says.
What’s next for the Crocodiles? “We are about to start our U.S. tour,” Welchez says. “We have a couple of weeks off after that and then we go back to Europe.” Will they still be able to find time to dream up a new album while they are on the road? The young singer’s response is a blend of realism and optimism. “Sure, we have to support the latest album, but we are already looking forward to going back into the studio. We have a shitload of half-formed ideas for a lot of songs, and we want to work on all of them.”
The Crocodiles with Soft Pack and the Heavy Hawaii at The Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; killkillkillcrocodiles.blogspot.com; www.theglasshouse.us. Fri., Oct. 19. 7pm. $12-$14.