The Fat Possum Records aesthetic, whether it pertains to rock groups like the Black Keys or blues artists à la R.L. Burnside, champions primitivism over polish and rawness over refinement — which is why the music of Crocodiles (on this bill with White Rabbits) belongs in the imprint's catalogue. Guitarist Charles Rowell and singer Brandon Welchez, co-conspirators since their San Diego teen years, play in the duo format so popular a few years back, making up for their modest numbers with feedback and a cavern's worth of echo. The technique's not new — Brits stared lovingly at their shoe tops while listening to similar stuff a couple of decades back. But it remains damnably effective throughout Summer of Hate, an album highlighted by "I Wanna Kill," which transforms the phrase "I wanna kill tonight" into an early rock hook whose sunniness stands in harsh contrast to the minor-key doom of the backing track. Such juxtapositions give these Crocodiles their bite.


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