Posts Tagged ‘Crocodiles’

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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.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Crocodiles – Hearts of Love

December 14, 2010

19. Crocodiles – Hearts of Love.mp3

San Diego’s Crocodiles deliver on everything they hastily but sincerely promised on their debut album, Summer of Hate. Everything about Sleep Forever is tighter, brighter and just generally better.

Hauling in influences from all over the late-’80s-early-’90s altrock scene (most prominently Echo & the Bunnymen), the Crocodiles craft sun-kissed pop with enough of a noisy edge and lyrical bite to cross the line from “disposable” to “essential.”

Hearts of Love is all hook, beginning with the pounding opening drumbeat which meshes with iridescent chimes to form an aural yin/yang right in the dead center of your brain. Once you’re sucked in, the reverbed vocals pour acid all over the sugar, thanking “God above for draining hearts of love.”

It all comes together like a Phil Spector boy band armed with a dash of feedback. (The “me and my love will surf the streets all day” line clinches it.) The track detaches from the bedrock beats and heads for the upper atmosphere, trailing bad vibes like so many feathers from a free-falling Icarus.

“Oh, when I die
When I disappear
Leave my troubles behind”

These Crocs look good on everybody.

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 15

September 20, 2009

Speaking of big numbers… Here’s number 15 in another, more regular series. Every Sunday (except for that one Sunday a couple of months back) the best music available becomes even more available (like your sister at a wedding reception) at Fancy Plans. Previous hot mp-on-3 action can be found in the self-explanatorily named Heavy Rotation Archives.

Nevermind the parentheses. Here comes the music:

Slowdive

Slowdive – When the Sun Hits
Padding softly onto the music scene in the early ’90’s, Slowdive dropped into the shoegazing scene with the amazing dreampop album Souvlaki. I can wholeheartedly recommend about 80% of the album, and this blissful blast of lushness is one of the highlights.

 

crocodiles

Crocodiles – I Wanna Kill
Out of San Diego by way of the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Crocodiles pile a lot of influences into one shit-hot track. Echoes of the best late-80’s alterna-rock echo within the 4-1/2 minute running time (think Echo & the Bunnymen, Love & Rockets, Ride). Awesome stuff.

 

evilnine8

Evil Nine – Crooked
Back when breakbeats were the “next big thing,” the Evil Nine were due to be one of the “next biggest.” Spicing up their breakbeats with live drumming and, in this case, live rapping, the Evil Nine dropped this single as their letter of intent (addressed to Fucking Shit Up University). It bangs along nicely and the wordplay of Aesop Rock adds rather than subtracts, which is a really refreshing change from most electronic artist guest shots. The video is a lot of fun, too.

 

My+Life+with+the+Thrill+Kill+Kult

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult – A Daisy Chain 4 Satan
The world’s first Satanic dance group, the TKK were always a band in search of a movie. Originally formed to make a movie, they got all caught up in the soundtrack and ended up in the studio all high on life and banged out this dance-floor monster.

Featuring a bassline as big as the outdoors and three times as funky, the Kult dispenses with verse-chorus-verse bullshit, preferring some tasty samples about drug use and a little restrained howling from frontmouth Groovie Mann. (Yeah. I know.) Fun for all ages above 18 (17 Canadian).

 

mbv

My Bloody Valentine – Soon
Another beautiful shoegaze track to properly bookend this week’s Heavy Rotation. Perhaps the most straightforward track on the godlike Loveless, Soon features an unlikely dance beat, buried vocals and multiple layers of so-called “glide guitar” from noted insane man, Kevin Shields.

The last beats and chords from an album that killed a label. But what an epitaph. Highly recommended.

All files in one kickass little folder (link opens in new window):
Heavy Rotation 15

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]

-CLT