Posts Tagged ‘Crocodiles’

Hello friends! Throughout late April and early May we worked on these two editions for two EP of cover songs, collaborating across the ocean from our respective homes in Paris and Los Angeles. We now present you “Shitty Times Volume 1”, featuring our versions of songs by Robyn Hitchcock, Madonna, Elli & Jacno (featuring Raphaëlle of Metro Verlaine), Satan’s Rats, Lou Reed and East River Pipe. Originally it was something we did to alleviate the boredom of lock down in lieu of being able to get into a studio to record all the new original music we’ve written over the past year.

Hello friends, we are back with Volume 2 of our “Shitty Times” covers series! This time we tackle songs by Zounds, Henry Badowski, The Ruins, Witch, Screaming Sneakers and Lou Miami & the Kozmetix.

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All profits will go to For The Gworls Party who raise money to assist Black Trans folks rent and affirmative surgery.

The band:
Brandon Welchez – Vocals, Guitar
Charles Rowell – Guitars, Keys, Vocals

Kate Clover – Vocals on Violent Days & Dance With Death
Josh Welchez – Horns on Die Underground

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Cover versions are not a new idea. Every band and their groupie have done one. Some are good Kelley Stoltz’s track for track covers album of Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘Crocodiles’ will be available for the first time on vinyl this Record Store Day courtesey of Nine x Nixe Records.

Originally recorded in late 2001, the album was not released until 2006 and was only available on CD (Orignally a TOUR ONLY CD via Beautiful Happiness).

Crockodials is a re-envisaging of renowned Liverpool band Echo and The Bunnymen‘s 1980s album Crocodiles. Now, recording another musician’s entire album is a tad quirky. But for someone who has The Cones Project (a series of traffic cone photos) on his website, it’s not that far out. In fact, Stoltz is quite a unique guy, he plays every instrument on Crock-O-Dials (as he did on previous album Antique Glow in 2004) and personally recorded each song on 8-track, DIY fashion.

When listening to Crockodials, one question begs an answer: why Echo and The Bunnymen? Simple – the Bunnymen are one of Stoltz’s biggest influences. So what better way to pay homage? (There’s even a bunny on the album sleeve…) Crockodials opens with Going Up, an electronic drumbeat starting the song. Apt really, considering that before the Bunnymen employed the late Pete de Freitas as drummer, Echo was their drum machine.

The beautifully melancholic and haunting song Stars Are Stars is slower than the original, somehow giving its lyrics more meaning, such as: “All your dreams are hanging out to dry/Stars are stars and they shine so cold”. It also has a twangy guitar lick which adds new life to this twenty-year old song.

All That Jazz  starts off very chilled with acoustic guitars and Stoltz singing in his Bowie-esque voice, very different from the sound of the Bunnymen. It’s true to state that every song on Crockodials seems fresher, with additional eclectic sounds (such as a xylophone in Pride, and crazily fast tambourine playing in Crocodiles). Crockodials maybe a novelty, one that may pave the way for future album covers. (Perhaps even coaxing Ryan Adams to release his other cover version album of The Strokes‘ Is This It? .

Stoltz took up the mantle of rhythm guitar in the Bunnymen’s live set up in 2016, after a few high profile state-side support slots won largely because of this album. Pressed on 180g colour vinyl, with original artwork and new sleeve notes from Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant and Scott Kannberg (Pavement), there’s never been a better time to discover this gem from Stoltz’s back catalogue.

REMASTERED BY MIKEY YOUNG -Bonus 7″ E.P.features 3 early demos of 14 year old Kelley’s band.These are the earliest known recordings of Stoltz’s Bunnymen covers.This E.P.is exclusive to the RSD release and will not be available with any subsequent reissue.

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Crocodiles

Echo and the Bunnymen’s superb debut album, “Crocodiles”, had one foot in the past and one in the future; while listeners could detect the influence of ’60s psychedelia and bands like The Doors, the 1980 album was also steeped in the darkness and anguish for which goth and post-punk would soon be known. Its dozen songs were exceptionally strong, and featured the group’s first two singles (a rerecorded “Pictures On My Wall” and “Rescue”) and soon-to-be concert staple “Do It Clean” (which had been left off the original U.K. pressing in the mistaken belief that it contained expletives).

Recorded at Eden Studios in London and at Rockfield Studios , Monmouth “Crocodiles” was produced by Bill Drummond and Davis Balfe , while Ian Broudie had already produced the single “Rescue”. The music and the cover of the album both reflect imagery of darkness and sorrowfulness. Echo & the Bunnymen were formed in 1978 and originally consisted of Ian McCulloch (lead vocals), Will Sergeant (lead guitar), Les Patterson (bass) and a drum machine . They released their debut single, “The Pictures on My Wall” in May 1979 on the independent label Zoo Records . The band then signed with WEA subsidiary label Korova and were persuaded to employ a drummer Pete De Freitas subsequently joined the band

Ian McCulloch is in fine voice throughout, and Will Sergeant’s playing makes him a clear contender for most underrated guitarist of the 1980s.  NME named “Crocodiles” one of the decade’s 50 greatest albums, and we’re hard-pressed to disagree…

Echo & the Buunymen

crocodiles

While listening to Crocodiles newest LP, “Dreamless”, you’ll either feel like you’re having a dark dream, wading on a foggy lake, or sweating in a humid nightclub, but you’ll never feel uncomfortable.
Playing around between synthy punk rock a la The Screamers or Joy Division, dream-pop from the likes of Deerhunter, or plain old dirty RnR, Crocodiles certainly know how to make it all sound like one cohesive genre. Your mind may ignore an attempt to overanalyze the record, which sometimes even strangely masks itself as its own brand of easy listening. Each song is more memorable and catchy than the next, making it the kind of album where, after only a few listens, you anticipate the start of the next song seconds before it begins.
Part of the catchiness of Dreamless is in the clever and always exemplified bass-playing. The production allows the bass to stand out on its own throughout the entire record, and if anything is unforgettable about this album, its those deep sexy licks. On songs like “Welcome to Hell”, the bassline serves as the foundation of the entire track, never changing throughout its entire four minutes, and then on Jailbird, the line is so pronounced and upfront that its hard not to shake some part of your body.
The true brilliance of this album, though, relies in its boldness to color outside the lines, and its flawless execution that makes its strangeness seem normal. For example, on “Im Sick”, you may listen to the song ten times and never even realize that the song is backed by a drum machine and includes a 30-second synth interlude, and instead recognize it as a dirty punk groove. Maximum Penetration could somehow be used in the elephant graveyard scene for the upcoming Lion King live action movie, and no one would blink an eye. You could maybe even convince a room of people to get up and dance to the dark and driving Jumping on Angels without realizing the frustration in the vocals, and then flawlessly segue back into Beyonce or some shit.
Crocodiles somehow made a dark and angry record catchy and memorable, and I have’nt been able to go a couple of days without humming one of its songs to myself. I feel like I’ll look back on this album as a forgotten classic in the future, .

Pretenders – Alone

Chrissie Hynde returns with the first Pretenders album in eight years. Alone was recorded with the Black Keys Dan Auerbach at his Easy Eye Studio in Nashville, and features Hynde on vocals and guitar joined by bassist Dave Roe (Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn), pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl (Blake Shelton), guitarist Kenny Vaughan (Lana Del Rey), keyboardist Leon Michels, and drummer Richard Swift.

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Hooton Tennis Club release their second album, Big Box Of Chocolates produced by Edwyn Collins at his Clashnarrow Studios in Helmsdale, Scotland. If their debut album, Highest Point In Cliff Town, released in August last year, was the band’s sprightly statement of intent, Big Box of Chocolates may well be their coming-of-age: a record that retains all the colour and invention of their debut, while being elevated by richer instrumentation and lyrics that hint at slightly heavier themes: love and loss, nihilism and the ‘non-spaces’ of Northern England, all delivered in the band’s typically laconic, bittersweet style, like a Mersey Beat Murakami. The dozen tracks continue the band’s knack of combining catchy off-kilter riffs with droll storytelling; album narrators – vocalists and guitarists Ryan Murphy and James Madden – seem to straddle optimism and uncertainty with their lyrics, whether singing about their internal worlds or commenting on a motley cast of characters (Bootcut Jimmy, BBC 6Music presenter Lauren Laverne, Lazers Linda…) who turn up across the album’s 41 minutes to amuse, tempt or torment them. Whether fictional (the awkward genius Jimmy ‘looking shifty in his new shoes’) or real (Ryan’s ex-housemate immortalised in first single Katy-Anne Bellis), each character shares an equal platform, all revered in Hooton’s own low-key way. Recorded over three weeks in Helmsdale, during which time they all grew beards, drank copious amounts of tea, became birdwatchers and whiskey tipplers, the album reflects the band’s relaxed approach to songwriting ; they tend not to labour over recording demos or strumming and beating the life out of songs in the practice room -instead, ideas are allowed to form spontaneously: melodies are hummed into phones or computers, lyrics batted back and forth between Murphy and Madden, songs worked out alone in the bedroom, or layered up from scratch together in the studio.

LP – Yellow Vinyl with Download.

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Big Star – Complete Third

The small but rabid cult of Big Star, composed initially of rock critics and hometown Memphis hipsters, coalesced around 1972’s ‘No#1 Record’, which supercharged the legacy of the Beatles and Byrds, and 1974’s ‘Radio City’, which brought additional attitude and poignancy to the recipe. The shimmering brilliance of Big Star’s sound and songs on those two LPs, along with its underdog allure, would have been sufficient to perpetuate the band’s legend. But there was a third album, and that strange beast of a record made all the difference for subsequent generations of fans – many of whom formed bands of their own – who turned each other on to this music as if it were a secret religion or a trippy new drug. After more than a decade of looking for additional music beyond the original album that is Big Star’s Third, the search is now over. While some demos and alternate versions of songs have dribbled out over the years across various compilations, all extant recordings made for the album are presented here for the first time in ‘Complete Third’. The collection boasts 69 total tracks, 28 of which are previously unheard session recordings, demos and alternate mixes made by producer Jim Dickinson and engineer John Fry. The set allows the listener to track the creation of the album from the original demos, through sessions to rough mixes made by Dickinson and Fry, to the final masters of each song. Besides the contextualizing main essay from writer / A&R man, Bud Scoppa, extensive notes from original participants and artists influenced by Big Star are also included: Mary Lindsay Dickinson, Mitch Easter, Adam Hill, Elizabeth A. Hoehn, Susanna Hoffs, Peter Holsapple, Gary Louris, Mike Mills, Cheryl Pawelski, Debbi Peterson, Pat Rainer, Danny Graflund, Jeff Rougvie, Pat Sansone, Chris Stamey, Jody Stephens, John Stirratt, Ken Stringfellow and Steve Wynn. Initially, the collection will be released in a 3-CD boxed set and with three separate double LPs to follow, each vinyl volume representing a CD in the boxed set.

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Kevin Devine – Instigator

Produced by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.), Instigator is Kevin Devine’s ninth full-length album and comes on the heels of a busy few years: In addition to recording two albums with Bad Books (the indie-rock supergroup he formed with members of Manchester Orchestra), he released the Kickstarter-funded double-album collection Bubblegum and Bulldozer in 2013 along with the wildly ambitious 2015 Devinyl Splits 7” series with the likes of Brand New’s Jesse Lacey, Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves and Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws. Devine is a master storyteller, and he imbues Instigator – from the biting power-pop of Both Ways to the angular Guard Your Gates and gorgeously finger-picked No One Says You Have To – with intricate details and often-uncomfortable truths. Their meanings are personal, but their themes are universal. It’s a skill that makes both his albums and his live show so alluring: Even when Devine’s writing about the world at large, he’s pointing a mirror back at himself. When Devine’s past lives meet his present-day self on the career- defining I Was Alive Back Then, the beautiful duality of his art takes center stage: Life is never all peril or perfection, a country ripped apart by war and social injustice or the joy of holding your child for the first time. The extremes might be easier to define, but it’s in the middle where life really happens.

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Agnes Obel  –  Citizen of Glass

Highly anticipated stunning third album from Danish born singer- songwriter Agnes Obel, the follow up to her UK breakthrough record Aventine. Recorded, mixed and produced by Obel in Berlin, where she currently resides, Citizen Of Glass is a work of haunting beauty and an expansion of Obel’s mesmerising world. The title surfaced in Obel’s mind while touring Aventine and, inspired by modern composers, the album conceptually and thematically revolves around the leitmotif of transparency. On this record Obel experiments with her vocals in inventive new ways, in order to manipulate them into alternative versions of her own voice, as can be heard on first single Familiar. Obel also incorporates a number of different instruments, such as the Trautonium (an extremely rare instrument that possesses a glistening, glass-like sound), alongside vibraphone, cembalo, cellos and more.

Crocodiles  –  Dreamless

Comprised of best friends Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, Crocodiles have earned their place as one of the United States’ most engaging, hardworking and consistent rock and roll bands of the past few years. Dreamless is the pair’s sixth LP, their most exploratory and focused release. Crocodiles’ first two albums made their home within a stew of fuzzed-out psychedelia, and the following three albums explored pop sensibilities placed against whirring guitars and barbed production, but on this latest album the duo’s artistic departure places their guitars in the backseat in favor of a more spacious, synthesizer and piano-driven sound. The title of the album works levels: “I suffered insomnia throughout the whole session. I was literally dreamless,” explains Welchez. “The past two years had been fraught with difficulty for us—relationship troubles, career woes, financial catastrophe, health issues,” he continues. “It was easy to feel as if the dream was over.” Recorded in Mexico City once again by friend and occasional bandmate Martin Thulin (Exploded View), Dreamless keeps the exemplary production on Crocodiles’ previous releases and reconciles their realigned focus on keys by pairing down the instrumentation to allow lyrical sentiments and themes to cut through.

This is the official video of “Crybaby Demon” by Crocodiles taken from their new album BOYS. It’s pretty fitting that Crocodiles decamped to Mexico City for their fifth album Boys,  The entire album sews the dark, synthy Crocodiles themes everybody knows and loves into a colorful quilt of salsa-punk inspired tracks with a whole lot of funky bass. Songs like “Crybaby Demon” and “The Boy Is A Tramp” paint a picture of the fruitful direction the band has decided to take sonically—using salsa and sometimes gypsy-psych elements. The boys do still hold true to their dark roots though, with songs like “Do The Void,” which has the same throbbing drum, night-time-driving-track feel that 2010’s Sleep Forever is known for. According to the band, Boys is “an album for boys and for girls and for boy-girls and mutants, back-alley poets, thieves, space cadets and alien babes, righteous tricksters, sonic deviants, and everything in between.

mcr psych fest

 

CROCODILES, THE LUCID DREAM, THE SUNDOWNERS, THE BLACK TAMBOURINES take part in the biggest Manchester Psych Fest yet. 

 

FULL LINE-UP

LIVE: CROCODILES // THE LUCID DREAM // SPECIAL GUESTS // THE SUNDOWNERS // THE BLACK TAMBOURINES // WHITE NOISE SOUNDS // HEY BULLDOG // DEJA VEGA // FREAKOUT HONEY

TICKETS £15

15:00: Doors
15:25: Freakout Honey
16:15: Black Lung
17:05: White Noise Sound
17:55: Déjà Vega
18:45: Hey Bulldog
19:40: The Black Tambourines
20:35: The Sundowners
21:30: SECRET GUESTS
22:25: The Lucid Dream
23:30: Crocodiles (Band)

As we rapidly approach the summer, some music just feels right in the sun,  and Manchester Psych Fest will return for the 3rd time Saturday June 13th at the iconic Night & Day Café.

Headlining is San Diego’s Crocodiles who have established themselves over the last 7 years as one of the most energetic live bands out there. They are now 5 albums in, and have recently released their newest LP Boys. 

From sunny San Diego to picturesque Carlisle – playing on the night is The Lucid Dream who have just recently released their newest self titled album to critical acclaim and radio play from the likes of Marc Riley at BBC Radio 6. They are at the forefront of the current wave of British psychedelic inspired bands, and continue to evolve into a force to be reckoned with.

Notable acts playing on the night are The Sundowners who have just come off a UK tour with Paul Weller, expect to hear lush harmonies, and some of the most well crafted songs out there. As well as this there will be, The Black Tambourines, Hey Bulldog, Deja Vega, White Noise Sound, Freakout Honey and Black Lung.

Lasting for 12 hours, with DJ sets from Only Joking Records, and Electric Jug, Manchester Psych Fest III looks to continue what it has started by showcasing the best in new and established talent both national and international in an intimate setting.

 

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The first taster from the forthcoming new album. Charles Rowell’s psychedelic guitar swirl starts “Crybaby Demon,” immediately followed by an infectiously repetitive bass line and Latin trashcan percussion.The first single from Crocodiles’ forthcoming album “Boys” offers a gaze into the salsa-punk existence the band lived while recording in Mexico City. It is the sound of helado and cervezas; bottles smashing against heads in Cuauhtémoc bat-caves. Brandon Welchez’s sneering vocal floats above, telling the tale of a fallen angel, head still in the clouds, abusive and abused. The flip side is a joyously noisy retelling of Hot Chocolate’s 1975 disco classic “U Sexy Thing” and adds to their ever growing collection of oddball influences.

On a silvery stage, DeeDee Penny and her husband Brandon Welchez, of Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles and now Haunted Hearts, share a glam yoga/dance party with Alexis Blair PenneyColin Self and Bailey Stiles – members of NYC-based drag collective Chez Deep. The trio shantay to the swirling psych-out of “Up Is Up (But So Is Down)”, as a reliably-kohled Penny pouts and Welchez preens in a fur coat straight out of Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Velvet Goldmine wardrobe. Their debut album, “Initiation”, came out May on their own label Zoo Music.

Haunted Hearts — Initiation
This is a fantastic collaboration between Brandon Welchez from Crocodiles and his wife Kristin Gundred, who is better known as “Dee Dee” from Dum Dum Girls. It sound like what you would expect it to sound like. While both of their bands have been doing really well, they’ve lamented the fact that they never see each other. So they finally made a record together. This project has actually been brewing for a really long time, but the album finally came out in March via Zoo Records.
This was a very late addition to my pile of 2014 albums. What do you get when you cross Dum Dum Girls with Crocodiles? It might sound like the start of some dodgy joke from a Christmas cracker but you actually get a bloody awesome band called Haunted Hearts.

If you asked us what our favourite combos were, we would have said pizza and beer or cocktails and more cocktails but we’ll have to add Haunted Hearts to that list You’d expect as much considering they’re husband and wife… so let’s all just take a minute to imagine how cool the music at their wedding would have been.