Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Crocodiles – Mirrors

December 31, 2010

2. Crocodiles – Mirrors.mp3

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.

Fucking brilliant.

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.

Go. Buy. Now.

More Crocodilia.

The rest of the Top 50.



  1. And God bless you and God bless us one and all! I’ve been obsessively (it’s what I do) checking in with you every single day to try on all of the new (to me) fantastical music. And even though I don’t always comment, I really have enjoyed this countdown and being introduced to so much ass kicking tunage.

    So thank you CLT. Without you, I’d be forced to overhear Shakira and Lady Gaga coming from my neighbor’s house.

    Can’t wait for numero uno. (That’s Spanish for I’d like one gram of blow please.)

    • Scott, thanks for making this a daily stop. And just in case you were worried that this might be the end of the fine tunage, rest assured that I have a tremendous backlog of musical goodness patiently awaiting its turn on the front page.

      Number one is an epic which should keep you safely away from your neighbors and their horrible taste for at least 10 minutes, if not longer.

      Happy 2K11, Scott!

  2. I took you up on your instruction to “do something else while the track unwinds.” A few keystrokes later and all of the sudden a religious debate between Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair started playing in conjunction with a YouTube vid of Living Yoga with Padma. Scared the bejeesus out of me. It’s all your fault.

    • Hahaha!! God bless the Internet! I’ll take the blame for your inadvertent remix. There’s nothing like everything falling apart unexpectedly to make you appreciate the mixed blessing of instant access.

    • He’ll probably include that remix in the 2011 list.

    • That remix alters the source material too much to be considered for a Top 50 list.

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