Crocodiles, 'Summer of Hate' (Fat Possum)

Critical Mass
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by Abigail Everdell

Through drum-machine slaps and guitarist Charles Rowell's fuzzy, pulsating chords, Crocodiles' other half, Brandon Welchez (a dead ringer for Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There), sings the isolation of a sunglasses-at-night cynic in an oppressively daytime town -- their native San Diego. But over 34 irresistible minutes, Summer of Hate has as many barbed, house-party hooks as nihilistic blasts: The title track's disaffected escapism can't outrun its own infectiousness ("I'm dyyyin'," Welchez wails), and the caustic feedback shrieks of "I Wanna Kill" only force the kids to shout their anthem louder: "I want to kill tonight!"

Listen: Crocodiles, "I Wanna Kill" (DOWNLOAD MP3)

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