Croc Shop

Croc Shop got started in 1987 as Crocodile Shop and released their debut album in 1988. Lullaby, produced by Dave Fielding of the Chameleons UK was a dark guitar based work that only hinted at what was to come. Between 1989 and 1990 they made a transition from goth-rock to industrial after the ongoing replacement of people with machines, releasing the two more electronic-based vinyl EPs: Measure By Measure and Technological Optimism. The pace picked up for the band in 1993, with the release of their CD-debut, Celebrate the Enemy. Produced by Sister Machine Gun's Chris Randall, the album was described by Alternative Press as a "hard and harsh blend of high energy rock with the melodic aspects of electro and the high angst of industrialism." A critically praised remix album from this disc, entitled Crush Your Enemies, followed and inaugurated their stylistic experimentation.

In 1995 Crocodile Shop signed with Metropolis Records, and in the following year released their third disc, Beneath. Featuring the work of MickHale (vocals, programming) and vMarkus (keyboards, backing vocals), Crocodile Shop produced one of the best electro releases of the year. CMJ wrote that "The trio displays hints of punk, techno, pop and r&b on it's latest creation ... living proof that the DIY sprit is very much alive & well in the electronic music world." Their sophomore Metropolis release, Pain, took the basic sound of Beneath and expanded upon it, adding more ominous melodic hooks, intelligent industrial sequences and fractured drum'N'bass elements. The European issue of Pain was packaged along with a bonus live disc recorded in Germany in 1997. Two more remix CDs quickly followed, Metalwerks and Soviet.

Core members MickHale and vMarkus were joined by new member Len9 (electronics & percussion) for 1999's Everything is Dead and Gone. This third release for Metropolis continued in their tradition of strong and challenging electronic music, netting the band a feature in Alternative Press. Outburn Magazine in turn hailed Croc Shop as "the leaders of the American electro-industrial movement." 2000 marked the release of Croc Shop's fourth release for Metropolis, titled Order and Joy, which reached #9 on CMJ's RPM chart. Side-Line Magazine deemed Order and Joy "Their best album ever. Croc Shop make a return to their industrial/EBM source," and promptly featured an interview with the band in it's pages. Later that year, the Wrong remix CD was issued in a limited edition of 999 through their official web-site www.crocshop.com.

Croc Shop has continued to evolve and over the past 15 years they've shown their punk-pop, guitar-goth, and hard-industrial sides. Now in 2002 they've once again re-invented themselves, keeping with the times while remaining true to their roots. World, Croc Shop's newest release, is a highly accessible piece of electronic dance music. Synth-pop backings merged with new wave melodies and intricate beat construction will make even the most die hard Croc Shop fan think they've discovered some great new band. As Outburn Magazine recently reported "If there is any band that deserves to be held up to the ears of the masses and praised who's time has come, its Croc Shop."

Croc Shop have also appeared on a number of high-profile compilations, including both of Cleopatra's "Tributes to" the Cure and Skinny Puppy. Three side projects have also been released by Mick Hale, (two albums of his dub-electro project Division #9, and one album of the collaborative band proGREX.iv, with fellow Croc Shop member vMarkus), as well as producing Hand of God's debut CD. vMarkus in return has released his own mp3.com/DAM cd called Subliminal Gravity, and Len9 has had a few compilation appearances with his Mortmain project. The band has also done several remixes for a wide variety of other artists, including SisterHood member James Ray, Belgium's SA 42, California's Collide & Battery, and Ohio's Dubok & Flesh Field, to name a few.

Throughout their career, Croc Shop have toured heavily in support of their releases in both Europe and North America. They have appeared with such bands as Front 242, Project Pitchfork, Nitzer Ebb, The Damned, Numb, Switchblade Symphony, Xymox and Rammstein. The band has been described live as an "audio-visual-assualt" with their multimedia video projections, stage antics and lighting. Select live shows were conducted in support of World; as well as video production for the title track.

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