Show Pics: Crocodiles @ Holy Mountain (5/6)

We are still catching up on unfinished business from last week. Psych Fest Levitation took over all things on Friday and I was stuck in prep mode before being able to post these pics from a lovely little show at Holy Mountain last week. We ran the Stephin Merritt shots from that night, Crocodiles is next up as we finish out our double-header night with jams. Along for the ride, we had Unknown Relatives and Que Pasa.

Click through for a few comments and more than a few pics…

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Show Preview: Crocodiles @ Holy Mountain (5.6)

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Date 05.06
Location Holy Mountain
Doors 8pm
Tickets 10 $ Here

Wednesday night ’round these parts has got you set out to make a tough decision as to how to spend your evening. Nathan already gave you a preview of the Stephen Merritt show that’s bound to be great, but I figured I’d throw a wrench in things and tell you about another show that’s sure to be a jangly guitar-rock filled good time. Crocodiles, who are on the verge of releasing their new LP, Boys are hitting Holy Mountain to give us some of the treats off that upcoming record. Having already spent some time with those new tracks, I can tell you it’ll be a smash. They’ll be joined by lovely locals ¿Qué Pasa? and Unknown Relatives which should make for a night brimming with psychedelic and hazy rock and roll. For ten dollars, you really can’t miss this.

Salsa Punk From Crocodiles

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Southern California Duo Crocodiles have been rather prolific since their 2008 origins, putting out three full length albums and a slew of EPs. “Crybaby Demon,” is the first single from their April-slated forthcoming fourth LP, Boys, which will be released via Zoo Music. And if you listen, it’s impossible to miss the influence of Mexico City, where they ventured to record the track and the album. This track is bomb, giving you both the fuzzy-lo garage guitars that you love from Crocodiles as well as this infectious beat underneath it all that makes it impossible to not dance to this song. Get behind this track and get ready for the new album; sounds like we’re in for a treat.

Austin Weekend Show Spotlight

Austin, I love you.As the weather unfortunately heats up, that means there’s also a music scene heating up.  There’s tons of shows this weekend in particular, both local and traveling.  I won’t bore you with details, but remind you to show up early to catch openers, especially the local ones like Sweet Talk playing at Mohawk tonight. Here you go: Read more

Little Touch of Psychedelia from Haunted Hearts

hauntedheartsLet’s face it, when you heard about the musical union of lovers, Dee Dee and Brandon (Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles, respectively), you were a little bit skeptical right?  I know that I was, but with the latest single from Haunted Hearts, I’m starting to turn my head more towards anticipation.  In this episode, there’s this slight wash of psychedelia that’s draped over the band’s pop tendencies.  It makes for a dreamy number that’s not really stuck too far in either direction, which is why the union definitely seems fruitful, aside from the obvious happy marriage of the two.  Zoo Music will release their debut, Initiations, next Tuesday.

Contest! Win a Pair of Tickets to See Crocodiles @ Empire Room (10.31)

CrocodilesSo you’re not really the Halloween sort, or maybe you are.  What we do know is that you need to enjoy rock n’ roll in some manner, otherwise it wouldn’t the crazy night we all expect! We’ve got a deal for you; you can win a pair of tickets to see Crocodiles at Empire Room…FREE.  The band comes in town to support their recent Crimes of Passion LP, and they’ll be joined by Royal Bangs and local act Growl.  It seems perfect if you’re looking for last minute plans to come together.  All you have to do is leave a comment telling us what you’ll be for Halloween, or what you hope people don’t wear as a costume.  Either way, you have the best idea, you have a free pair of tickets.  If you want to go the traditional way, you can grab tickets from Knuckle Rumbler, who’s helping us with this contest (thanks Aaron).

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Crocodiles-Cockroach.mp3]

Download: Crocodiles – Cockroach [MP3]

Contest ends at Noon on Thursday!

Crocodiles – Crimes of Passion

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Rating: ★★★½ ·

When looking at the musical history of Crocodiles, you can say there have been three stages.  The first stage has roots in the records one and two, filled with reverb and a wash of noise.  Then they started to clean things up a little bit on Endless Flowers, and they’ve finally progressed to the the latest stage with Crimes of Passion, creating a collection of songs that wears their influences boldly whilst pushing further into the realms of pop sensibility.

On my first jam to “I Like It in the Dark,” I really thought this was some experimental version of early Brit-pop.  The vocals definitely wear that influence, as do the piano touches jumping in and out of the track.  It’s clear at this point that Crimes of Passion is still to go further into pop songwriting, although I appreciate that they haven’t completely abandoned their penchant for extra layering, though this time with instruments as opposed to feedback noise.  Surprisingly, “Marquis de Sade” cleans things up completely, giving us one of the most straightforward hits the group has composed to date, harkening to sunny Cali pop by using female backing vocals.  But, personally, I could do without the excess horn solo in there; it would ruin the song if it weren’t such a great tune all around.

I think one of the biggest changes for Crocodiles revolves around the delivery of the vocals.  You’d find the group coating the voice in the early stage, yet if you listen to “Heavy Metal Clouds” you can tell that the band are intent on making lyrics you can attach yourself to immediately.  There were glimmers of such a voice on the last LP, but they’ve been improved upon here, leaving listeners with an extra instrument to focus on…that of the voice. You’ll see the same attention to detail on “She Splits Me Up,” which just might be the prettiest song that the group has crafted to date.  Guitars on this track are angular, yet they have a tonal brightness that I find really appealing.

But, don’t think that Crimes of Passion is all shimmering pop goodness; you’ll still find songs with a bit of grit within.  “Gimme Some Annihilation” offers up the crunchiest guitar from the LP, featuring some of that trademark Crocs fuzz.  Still, while holding onto their past, it’s hard not to see that the band almost seems refreshing new with this track; it’s got an entirely different attitude now, as opposed to what you might find in the early stage. They give us noisy nods, just not too much.

Honestly, I see this as a record that’s going to sneak up and surprise a lot of people.  The band definitely tread water with their homage to Jesus and Mary Chain early on, but it seems now they’re looking forward to other popular Brit acts like the Stone Roses…seriously.  Crimes of Passion is a pop record; it just happens to be one filled with light elements of noise and experimentation, showing us all where Crocodiles once were, yet giving us a glimpse of where they are going.

Gritty Rocker from Crocodiles

crocsI passed on this track a couple of days ago; I’m sorry, my life’s a mess! But, now that I’m back with it, I think everyone needs to take a good listen to this new jam from Crocodiles.  This is the sort of track I expected to hear more of when the band released their last effort, Endless Flowers, though that ended up a bit too polished.  On this number, they still have some melodic hooks, especially in the chorus, but the song itself seems to ooze with noisier elements on the edges, making the track more than just some casual pop ditty. You can find this tune on Crimes of Passion, which comes out on August 20th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Crocodiles-Cockroach.mp3]

Download: Crocodiles – Cockroach [MP3]

New (ish) Tune from Cheap Curls

It’s good to know that a little bit of that Dum Dum Girls heritage can now stake some claim in Austin, Tx.  Former member Katie has come back home to Austin, and she’s working under the name of Cheap Curls.  She’s just recently released a new EP via Art Fag Recordings, and I’m finally getting the time to give it more than just a glance.  There’s definitely some resemblance to her former band mates, but I tend to think Katie’s got more of a forceful songwriting style, which just happens to please my ears.  We were reminded of her talents when she helped make way for the Crocodiles this past Friday night. Oh, and one of her band members features a dude from The Rise, so there’s more rad Austin history for you!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Message-24-48-2.mp3]

Download: Cheap Curls – Message [MP3]

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