“Crocodile,” the latest release from London-based jazz-fusion group Melt Yourself Down, can best be described as manic, high-energy, and twitchy. Picture discordant saxes, a fast-talking vocalist ranting about “it’s a killing machine, it’s sick and mean, like a crocodile licking your carcass clean,” all over a jittering drum beat, and you’ve got a pretty good image of this new single.
Vocalist Kushal Gaya holds his own against a powerful horn section, fronted by saxophonist Pete Wareham. Similar to other modern jazz/electronica acts, like Moon Hooch, MYD walks the fine line, between production and instruments, and does it extremely well. Wareham’s prodigious skill and experience in other British jazz acts (Acoustic Ladyland and Polar Bear) lends itself well to Gaya’s vocals, which are high and energetic enough to complement the horns, without crossing the line into comical or obnoxious.
Something can even be said for the album art, which is an edited image of a young girl staring into the camera. It’s got echoes of the National Geographic Afghani girl, crossed with a deleted scene from the film Annhilation. It’s just unsettling enough to highlight the strange mental images that the single itself brings to mind.
MYD’s newest is both entertaining and a little unnerving, which, in my opinion, is a hallmark of a band pushing the boundaries in just the right way.