Crocodiles: Pop Bites

You wouldn't know it from listening to San Diego band Crocodiles, but their shoegazing dream pop actually has its roots in the city's stridently experimental punk/hardcore scene. Crocodiles' founding duo Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez previously played in jazz-inflected punk band The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower and caustic screamers Some Girls, whose membership connects hardcore dots from The Locust to Cold Cave. With Crocodiles, though, Rowell and Welchez tap into a strain of texturally lush, swooning indie pop that goes back to My Bloody Valentine and their peers and which has lately found popularity with a new generation of bands (including Dum Dum Girls, whose vocalist Dee Dee Penny is married to Welchez).

The band's "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)," off new album Endless Flowers, might be the year's best MBV guitar riff this side of the Loveless re-masters. Over a propulsive beat, Rowell bends his guitar tone until it's just this side of queasy, giving the song's forward tumble an appealing edge of uncertainty. Throughout Endless Flowers, Crocodiles balance gentle guitar fuzz with easy pop hooks, led by Welchez's morose yet tuneful vocals. An ideal album for a hazy summer day. – Eric Grandy, Google Play

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