"I first met the duo of Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell nearly 25 years ago at a punk gig being held in a Mexican restaurant in San Diego. After initially becoming acquainted at a local Anti-Racist Action meeting, the two found their respective teenage bands booked on the same bill and I found myself in a booth, inhaling a burrito, observing the germination of their fruitful partnership. Young Brandon watched in awe as teenage Charlie clambered up a confused family’s table and proceeded to bash the living hell out of his cheap guitar. When his set was through, young Charlie melted back into the crowd and also found himself awe-struck as the pubescent Brandon took the 'stage' (floor) and proceeded to shriek, croon, howl and spit his way through his own band’s allotted 20 minutes. Once the noise was over, the two found each other, expressed their mutual admiration and over a shared Coca-Cola agreed to dissolve their respective bands and join forces.
After a few false starts, the duo found their footing with now near-mythical noise-punk group The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower. They spent the next 5 years traversing the USA, playing every backwoods dump that would have them, meeting and inspiring other like minded freaks and occasionally getting the shit kicked out of them by feral rednecks. Eventually the Plot imploded in a cloud of poverty and addiction. Once the dust settled, Charlie and Brandon agreed to keep this partnership of theirs going. After a few years spent experimenting with their song writing ('Why can’t you mix 60s pop with Deathrock?,' they once asked me) and trying out various line-ups and names, they decided to trim the fat. They booted out the half-committed jokers they were working with, trading them in for a beat up old drum machine. Immediately, they set to work on the group of songs which would become Crocodiles debut album; the spaced-out, gritty noise-pop classic Summer Of Hate.
Fast forward 15 years and we find ourselves in the dystopian future of 2023. The previous decade and half has seen the core duo change line-ups (2-piece, 5-piece, 2-piece again, 4-piece), location (San Diego, NYC, Paris, Mexico City, London, LA), sounds (art-punk, psychedelic haze, lush 60s-inspired pop, trashed-out glam) and hairstyles (good, bad, ugly). They have dropped 7 LPs, several EPs and singles and toured incessantly, bringing their unique brand of rock-n-roll to hungry fans in every corner of the globe. While the lineups, locations and sounds have changed, Brandon and Charlie have never wavered from their initial teenage mission to help each other escape a life of drudgery, boredom and expectation through music, art, friendship and adventure. They have persevered through the highs and the lows, always together, always creating. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been interesting. Now, after the pandemic-induced slowdown, the boys have returned with their 8th album, Upside Down In Heaven, out April 7 on Lolipop Records."
- Russell Cash, San Diego, Jan 9, 2023
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