Crocodiles at Reggie's Rock Club | Concert review
If my temporary deafness proved anything, it was that Saturday night’s show at Reggie’s was a barrelling train of fast and loud rock ‘n roll. From Slushy’s down-and-dirty DIY garage to the soulful barking of Devin and finally the charismatic Crocodiles, each act became more crazed than the last in their pursuit for the riffs and hooks of yesteryear.
Local duo Slushy opened the show with a set marked by fun, upbeat blasts of vocals against speedy guitars and drums. Opting for the floor instead of the stage, their setup included Chris Kramer on guitar and vocals while his counterpart, Brent Zmrhal, impressively sang, played guitar, and used double-drum kicks against a bass and snare to round out the rhythm section. The sunny, happy-go-lucky quality of their songs was well-paired with the duo’s sunglasses and Kramer’s Bart Simpson shirt. With recycled rhymes like “fun” and “sun,” Slushy may just be another band mining the buzz genre of lo-fi California dreaming, but from their successful transformation of Reggie’s to hopping house show, it's clear they're having a really good time doing it.
Supporting act Devin kept energy levels high with spastic movements and well-rehearsed sounds. Their self-professed “Brooklyn soul” sounds good on an album, with catchy rockabilly sentiments that have often drawn comparison to the Strokes, but their live performance warranted polarizing reactions. Live, frontman Devin Therriault’s affected pseudo-southern lilt was distracting—a bizarre choice for a boy from Brooklyn. Like a poor interpretation of Tallest Man on Earth’s trademark croon, it sold the band short. Despite this, Devin delivered plenty of hard-hitting songs delivered with technical finesse.
When Crocodiles finally took the stage, they had some tricks up their sleeve. The original duo, Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, are now joined by a bassist, keyboardist and drummer, filling out their vintage dream punk. A pleasant surprise came in the form of backup vocals by Welchez’s wife, Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls. Sporting a new bleached bob (a far cry from her trademark long black locks), Penny stoically swayed in the back as Welchez devoured the stage and pit. Unfortunately, the vocal mics were overwhelmed by guitars turned up to 11, drowning out much of Penny’s harmonizing. Yet the pair’s chemistry was undeniable, especially when they began an off-stage duet in the middle of the crowd. Technical mishaps aside, Crocodiles have made great strides in refining the full scope of their sound and with plenty of live charisma.