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Arts and Entertainment

Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles @ The Echo, 7/1/10

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Rockers clad in black packed the Echo to the gills on Thursday night. Heavy mascaraed vamps in black stockings and dirty looking punks filled the room for the show emulating their idols on stage. If there was a king and queen of lo-fi drone-pop Kristen Gundred aka "Dee Dee" of the Dum Dum Girls and Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles would be it. This show celebrated the success of both of their debut albums which had met with such critical acclaim.

Stepping into the glowing red lights and smoke, Crocodiles took the stage first. These guys were all about assaulting your senses with a wall of sound and bright strobe lights. It was so loud you weren't allowed to think or see. All you could feel the music buzz through your molecules. Engulfed in noise, Welchez thrashed around like a carp out of water, clutching the microphone like it was his last source of oxygen in the room, his voice surging over the drums in with growling menace. The other half of Crocodiles, guitarist Charles Rowell seemed to be lost in a trance all his own as his guitar cut through the smoke and obliterated ear drums. There was no stage banter whatsoever. No breaks either. Just wave after wave of sound for the audience to drown their sorrows and frustrations in. It was everything a sullen teenager or a twenty-something stuck in a dead end job could want. It was glorious.

In order to set the mood for the next band, the DJ graciously played girl groups from the 1960s while the Dum Dum Girls set up. Dressed all in black with lips painted red, striped stockings, and some fearsome shoulder pads, the band looked like a group of femme fatales. They looked like the kind of women who could easily stash a knife in their boots or have arsenic in their cocktail rings. In other words, Dum Dum Girls are the kind of band bad girls want to be.

When they sing songs about waking up in jail (Jail La La) or the more direct tune "Bhang Bhang I'm a Burnout" a good portion of the crowd could probably have related. Coating1960s girl group pop with heavy distorted guitars the Dum Dum Girls are very hard to resist. Who doesn't want to bounce around to sunny pop that's edged with smoldering menace? I Will Be is one of those albums that makes it easy to feel good about being bad.