How I’m supposed to not be biased when writing this review is beyond me. I’m unsure how to detach myself from the love I have for Crocodiles and Dum Dum Girls in order to write something that make sense. But, I’m not proper music publication so I guess I can say what I want and be as biased as I like.
Firstly, this record sounds NOTHING like I was expecting. It’s really really odd and it feels like David Bowie and Jason Pierce got it on, and made something truly mind-blowing. I mean, of course this record is going to be perfect you know? That’s because both front two of the best bands around (and most hardworking.) If you look at DDG and Crocs tour schedule, you’ll probably be left wondering when they have time to think let alone sleep. But you don’t get to be the greatest band around by sitting on your tush.
Initiation makes you feel like you’re in space and on acid. I’ve never been to space nor have I have ever dropped acid (or any other drug, but I don’t hold militant views.) Being sent the promo is pretty much the highlight of my week, and no doubt I will be playing this all the way to Brussels this weekend. It’s got a spacey European feel to it. It’s just an excellent record from start to finish.
It opens with the seductive Initiate Me; and I’m sure if the likes of Alfred de Musset, Baudelaire and the rascal that was, Marquis De Sade were still alive they’d probably be listening to this record and fully enjoying the seductive nature of this record. What is brilliant about the record is that, it sounds nothing like their own bands. Go into it blind and pretend you’ve never heard of either band to really get this record.
The record was made in the winter of 2012. All they had for company was themselves, books, Motown and Krautrock. Personally, I see nothing wrong with this. If anything it would be quite heavenly. There’s a lot of love, lust and desire on this record. It’s beautifully perverse at times, and if you can’t be decadent in your art then what is the point?
I really love Dee Dee’s voice on Love Incognito; her voice has a bit more bite to it than on a DDG record, but her distinctive sound remains throughout. She’s got the kind of voice you wish you had, she truly shines on this song. You can’t help but wish you witnessed some of the recordings of this record. Love Incognito is probably going to be the song that I’ll play to death before moving onto the final song, Bring Me Down.
Bring Me Down is a gentle love song that is just 5 and a half minutes of Brandon’s voice really getting to you. What I truly love about this record is the way their voices work together. If you go back to DDG’s debut, I Will Be you will hear just how divine their voices are together on Blank Girl (I hope they play this at their London show.) When Dee Dee’s voice comes in on Bring Me Down it adds a more angelic feel to it. Bring Me Down feels like a hymn for lovers, it is truly a gorgeous song and a perfect one to end this remarkable record on.
Up Is Up (But So Is Down) has got to be that Summertime song we all seek out. It’s got that sunset feel to it, as you head into the dusk with the sun blinding you less and less, and you become less stuck to your (fake) leather jacket. It’s just a stunning hazy track to dream to, you’ll have no problems with shutting the world off to this one. I love the way they sing, “She’s gonna love you until she’s dead.” A simple statement of romanticism.
Something That Feels Bad sounds totally different. It’s a fixed up version of what we heard last year, but still as gorgeous. I love the line, “You can tie me up if I can tie you down.” It’s the ultimate decadent love song. Why settle for typical and conventional when you can have something like this?
Initiation isn’t a record that’s going to just please fans of Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles, it’ll move those that really really love music and are bored of the mundane drivel that some outlets project to us. Everything about this record is just really strange and magical. It’s a love filled record which exploits all the things that I want a record to sound like. Initiation is a flawless work of art that you can tell was made with love and care.
I’ve failed at not being biased or putting aside my admiration for them both, but what’s the point in not writing like a fan? I can’t pull a record apart and tell you why it sucks. I can only tell you why I love it so. The alternative however, is if you buy the record for yourself on 27th May. You’ll probably get what I’m trying to say, maybe I’ll work out what I’m trying to say.
But here’s to Brandon and Dee Dee; a beautiful couple who have put out one of the year’s finest record.