Song of the Day: Crocodiles - Crybaby Demon

Song of the Day
05/27/2015
Anna McClain

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Crybaby Demon” by Crocodiles from the 2015 album Boys on Zoo Music.

Crocodiles - Crybaby Demon (MP3)

If punk and salsa seem like an uncommon coupling, it’s because, well, they are. The internet presence of "salsa-punk" is limited to San Diego duo Crocodiles' latest album and a lone Indonesian Twitter user who snatched up the enviable handle. The genre blend calls to mind strange food pairings that somehow work, like peanut butter pickle sandwiches or pancakes and hot sauce grilled cheese and jam. Could punk have the versatility of bacon? In this case at least, Crocodiles successfully integrate it with their impression of salsa.

For Boys, the San Diego duo of Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez, who started out in 2009 playing punky noise-pop, worked with producer Martin Thulin in Mexico City to create the palatable style combo. The new songs incorporate latin textures into Crocodiles' recognizable scuzzed up 80s-inspired pop. The first single, "Crybaby Demon", especially entwines bright and jangly salsa-influenced rhythms with their sludgified shoegazy pop. One of the most engaging moments on the track is a brief cuíca-like "woo" sound at 1:24, and there’s a satisfying richness in the entire song’s heavy beat and thick distortion. While the lyrics are not to be omitted, the overdriven vocals and their frequent ambiguity makes Brandon Welchez’s voice another sonic spread over the beat rather than a vehicle for conveying a profound message. For a track with such density, "Crybaby Demon" moves blithely and manages a quick pace fit for dancing (the salsa perhaps?). 

While Crocodiles are on tour behind Boys, they have not announced any dates yet in Seattle. For now, follow the duo on Facebook and Twitter, and check their website for upcoming tour dates and more information. Need a dose of Crocodilesque attitude? Watch the video for "Crybaby Demon" below:

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