It’s been a few years since an aggressive indie guitar band has broken out of the UK. The trend over there has been towards pop and electro, but we’re due for someone to crack through. The Vaccines have a shot at carrying that flag. Their British buzz grows by the day, and they just finished sold-out shows at The Bowrey in New York and at Spaceland in LA. You could feel it in the Spaceland air: this was an event and the band didn’t disappoint. The energy was there from the opening drum beats, the playing was tight, and most importantly, we heard a bunch of good songs. Their 35-minute set included UK buzz track “Post Breakup Sex” and a cover of The Standells’ “Good Guys Don’t Wear White”. Singer Justin Young hasn’t yet developed his front-man persona but that will come in time. Their album drops in late March.
San Diego boys Crocodiles packed The Echo last night. Many of their noise-pop brethren just wander on stage and play without much emotion, but not these guys. With an energy level exceeding expectations, their looks and moves reflect their punk backgrounds. The band exudes some showbiz, and they kept the Echo hipsters engaged throughout with a very consistent set. Set opener “Sleep Forever” is my fave song of theirs and is getting the most exposure. Noise pop bands don’t normally receive much mainstream airplay and that will probably be the case with Crocodiles on this album, but they are building a nice base for themselves.