July 29, 2016
By Frida Ray
July 9 at the Crocodile started a bit earlier than I prefer, with doors at 8 p.m. and Seattle new-wavers Jupe Jupe on stage at a very prompt 9 p.m. I was barely to the bar when this band of wonderful bald rockers, led by My Young (who boasts the only full pate) filled the room with his silky, nostalgic voice. I drank my beer as quickly as if it were Kool-Aid and settled in for their set.
By two songs in the venue was filling fast, with Jupe Jupe wasting no time in setting the party pace for the evening. Shouts and whistles rang out in abundance after each track and I was sure the audience had fallen in love with the band.
L.A. band The Palms took the stage with barely a word and got straight to business. Songs were catchy, enjoyable and certainly crowd pleasing but I could not quite fall into their music due to the fact that every song contained one of those niggling hooks that you just know came from another popular song. The band is slick, professional, tight and everything you’d ever want in a live performance if you can get beyond the top 40 mishmash pastiche style and the frontman tossing out annoying references to L.A. after every song.
We Are Scientists had a great stage set up with giant cat murals behind them, which made the perfect backdrop for their kitschy indie rock. My favorite was a 10 foot tall feline who was smoking.
Vocalist Keith Murray and bassist Chris Cain are well known for their tongue-in-cheek lyrics and overall manner, but I found the songs from their 2016 album Helter Seltzer to be more sincere, although a bit pedestrian in overall construction. Die-hard fans of the Scientists’ earlier work danced enthusiastically to the more vintage offerings and seemed quick to embrace the newer tunes as well.
In between songs is where I found frustration; Murray and Cain bantered on for far too long with some heavily premeditated shtick that nearly had me running out the door.
At one point, a couple next to me laughed hysterically as I exclaimed unconsciously, ‘thank god that’s over! Let’s get back to business, guys!’ I ducked back into my beer, thankful for the shared chuckle with strangers.