Crimes of Passion
Aug 16, 2013 Web Exclusive
Charles Rowell and Brandon Welchez roar back onto the scene with their fourth full-length as Crocodiles. This time they've found the perfect partner in producer Sune Rose Wagner (of The Raveonettes) who tosses a fistful of Hollywood glamour all over their already glorious celebration of sex, drugs, and death.
Recorded in Los Angeles and mixed by Duncan Mills, who also worked on 2012's Endless Flowers and 2010's Sleep Forever, Crimes of Passion is a sweaty, smutty album that manages to smoosh together many of the act's earlier ideas into one big noise pop orgy. Everything about it-the arrangements, the instrumentation, and the swagger—feels round and fleshy. The opening trio of songs is especially strong. It kicks off with "I Like It in the Dark," a piano-driven, gospel-inspired thesis statement on atheism. Then it builds with "Marquis De Sade," an anthem that slyly recalls Summer of Hate's "I Wanna Kill." Then it explodes with the lead single "Cockroach," a surprisingly danceable rocker that marries Wagner's wide vocabulary of retro styles with the duo's lust for late-night debauchery. There's also a stellar mid-tempo number ("She Splits Me Up"), a straightforward jam ("Teardrop Guitar"), and a ballad ("Un Chant D'Amour").
Without a doubt, this is their strongest and most cohesive collection of tracks to date. In hindsight, the choice of Wagner as a producer for this act now seems overwhelmingly obvious. Their aesthetics dovetail incredibly well. And, most importantly, he manages to elevate already exciting and interesting material without drawing too much attention to his presence. It's what a good producer does. Let's all pray that this collaboration continues for years to come. (www.frenchkissrecords.com)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 8/10