Photo by Rebecca Sawka

Right on key as an opener for Dean Wareham playing Galaxie 500, Crocodiles brought a blazing set of distorted, Brit-inflected, dang-the-early-’90s-were-great-for-indie-guitar-noiserock to Bowery Ballroom on Friday night. With all the signifiers in place (tight pants, leather jackets, gorgeous waifish synth player, lots of staggering around with the mic, plenty of spitting), the five-piece romped through a set that brought to mind a drunker, angrier Jesus And Mary Chain, or a really sharply-dressed Velvet Underground. It wasn’t all haze and distortion and whatever-gazing, though. Just when I thought the set was getting a bit monotone, we turned a corner into some uptempo krautrock-inspired groove. With a sound like this, impressive guitar work and distinctive vocals are somewhat par for the course, but like a few other acts I saw this weekend, I was particularly impressed by drummer Allana Kalaba’s tightness and consistency, whether on straight ahead, four-to-the-floor workouts, or extended tempo-switching jams. All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to set the stage for the breathtaking set from Dean And Britta (and friends!) that followed.