You have to hear this song twice to fully appreciate it. If you trust my musical judgment at all, press play and give it a good listen before reading the following commentary. Go ahead. Do something else while the track unwinds. Or stay here if you’d like. You can read this part:
Someone once recommended Flesh for Lulu to me stating that they “sounded like the Jesus and Mary Chain.” At that point I was only familiar with the Chain’s first two albums so my initial reaction was, “The fuck they do!”
It wasn’t until I had absorbed their third album (Automatic) that I saw their point: Flesh for Lulu sound like Automatic. (If that makes sense.) It’s mostly in the rhythm section, which at that point for the Jesus and Mary Chain was a drum machine. Lots of the same tempos and presets. So, to sum up: Flesh for Lulu sound like a particular iteration of the Jesus and Mary Chain.
This Crocodiles song sounds like Flesh for Lulu: compressed riffs riding a drum machine. They do not, in general, sound like Flesh for Lulu, but in this case they do. It also sounds like Lips Like Sugar-era Echo & the Bunnymen. A bit of the Mighty Lemon Drops and small hint of psychedelic bagginess from the Soup Dragons. Some chiming tones, straightforward riffing and the somewhat tinny sound of drum machinery.
OK. Ready for that second listen?
Pay attention to that build. Now that you know where the track is headed, you’re in a better position to appreciate the windup.
Arriving first are the bright tones that surf under the entire song, followed by some subdued feedback that increases in intensity and volume along with the looping drum. It’s all just background for awhile, slowly rising above the open space.
Then the bass kicks in almost unexpectedly, arriving mid-bar rather than on a downbeat, adding propulsion and pushing the track forward and upward.
And now the guitar joins in, setting the pace with a tightly wound, minimal riff that (and I HEART this part) drops off into a full swoon, leaving the listener with the not upleasant sensation of momentarily being trapped in a plunging audio elevator.
More brilliance follows, led by the lines:
There’s something in the way you crucify me
That makes me smile…
God bless the Crocodiles. And god bless their tortured altpop souls.