David J

Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh

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Released just prior to the formation of Love and Rockets, David J's follow-up to The Etiquette of Violence is better than its predecessor in every way. The songwriting is more skillful, the production much sharper, the musicianship tighter. The mood, too, is more varied, with the clouds parting occasionally to let in a bit of light. This may have something to do with J's stint in the Jazz Butcher's band, and indeed Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh at times sounds like a Butcher record. No credits are provided, but the guitar on some tracks has a distinct Max Eider feel. On Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh J takes a big step toward developing an identity apart from Bauhaus. Parts of this album could accurately be characterized as folky, jazzy, and mellow -- adjectives that would never be applied to J's former group. Acoustic guitar is the primary instrument, and sometimes the only one; quite a contrast to Bauhaus' often metallic attack. The mellowness could stand to be counterbalanced by a little of the old glamour and noise -- and this is precisely what Daniel Ash would provide in Love and Rockets, whose excellent debut, Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven, was released this same year.

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