Local indie-noise group Alligator Indian (self-described as “présent-garde”) have been prolific creators of showcases, compilations (under the moniker Swamping they rallied a number of local underground acts for the inaugural New Weird Asheville collection) and EPs. But it’s just now — two-plus years after the singer-songwriter-synthesizer playing duo moved to Asheville via New York via Florida — that Alligator Indian (aka Spooky Bea and Christian Church) are releasing a full-length.
“Sometimes an EP feels like an excuse to throw a bunch of songs together,” says Church. The new record, 11-track Spring I’m In (whose cover art is seen here) is “a cohesive document.” It was also an opportunity for Church and Bea to fully explore the post-punk influences with which they’ve both been fascinated. While Spring is not derivative of that late-‘70s time frame, it does cherry-pick certain aesthetics from, say, the era of synthesizers, drum machines, pop-informed lyrics and avant-garde embellishments.
Spring also taps a ‘60s girl-group sound, which Bea, with her full, commanding voice, is easily able to pull off. And there’s an intriguing current of darkness that runs throughout the collection of songs but, as Church puts it, “goth and metal bands take that seriously. We don’t.” (Worth noting: Bea says she was highly inspired by ‘90s TV show The Wonder Years.) Standout tracks include the whimsical “Gnarwhal,” the attitude-and-reverb spoken-word number “Ice & Asteroids” and lead track “Our Love Was a Crime,” the band’s statement against the proposed Amendment One which would define (according to the N.C. state constitution) marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
Alligator Indian’s launch for Spring is actually not a CD release party. The duo dislikes CDs and so will release their LP digitally and on tape. “It’s not like cassettes are coming back. They’ve always been here,” says Church. The festivities begin at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 20 with guests Albert Adams, Part Time (from California), DJ Hippy Shirt (aka Jack Crowley) spinning a post-show dance party, and Luke Puke as emcee. At Warehouse #10 in the River Arts District. Donations accepted.