October 3, 2013


Crocodiles – “Teardrop Guitar” Video from stereogum on Vimeo.

Douglas Martin doesn’t understand the hullabaloo surrounding @horse_ebooks. Maybe he’s just getting old.

Crocodiles have always been the sort of “style over substance” band whose natty style and well-worn and carefully curated influences (Jesus and Mary Chain, Spacemen 3) are discussed at greater length than their actual music. Though it’s pretty undeniable they’re a band of aesthetes first — and probably, along with frontman Brandon Welchez’s wife band Dum Dum Girls, some of the greatest aesthetes in rock music today — in certain cases, their actual work is of higher quality than you would generally expect. Sure, they seem lifted right from the page of a 1987 issue of NME, but more often than not, they carry that distinction with verve.

Case in point: The video for Crimes of Passion’s second single, “Teardrop Guitar.” The song itself sounds like an underground hit from either a bygone era or an alternate universe. Its chorus aims for the sky in a way many bands of its ilk are either secretly afraid or pretend they’re too cool to do, but it’s also noisy and cacophonous enough for those same bands to respect. The video is a low-budget marvel which brings the song’s aesthetic to life, augmenting its VHS-filmed graininess with sparkly falling teardrops, television static — something that sparks the imagination of those of us old enough to remember but young enough to not watch TV on an actual TV anymore. The intentionally shoddy graphics that remind me of my short time in my middle school’s AV club.

It also has a blonde in a black dress and red lipstick and actual teardrop guitars, two aesthetic cues that are always sprinkled about in my fantasies.

A music video can heighten the appeal of a song almost instantaneously. We were convinced Tyler, the Creator was our next great hip-hop artiste because of “Yonkers.” The video for “Teardrop Guitar” not only serves the purpose of being a pretty great video, but it also enforces the idea that being capturing people’s imagination as a great rock ‘n roll band requires more than writing great rock ‘n roll songs.

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