Now that I have summoned it, please allow me a minute to talk about “Kokomo,” and in detail, because it has come to play a strange, transitory role in pop culture. Its glorious, radiant wretchedness is a thing of legend, and in 2005, that was—and on Earth-4, is probably still—the most notable thing about it, except maybe that Australia nonetheless got it to No. 1. But talking about it here, in 2012, is infinitely complicated by the fact that Destroyer’s recasting, for Kaputt, of its emotional distance and lidded-stare production, was tone-perfect; I consider it one of the greatest executions of a sonic thesis I’ve ever heard. “Kokomo“‘s horror, I mean, is now provably not caused simply by its wave-pool tempo, or its junk drawer of percussion additives, or its sax solo. To say, “Joel Peskin’s sax solo blurts into the song like a home invasion committed by mayonnaise”—it is fun to write such an easy shot, but Kaputt’s rightfully acclaimed title track wears a sax solo throughout its entire runtime like a writhing stole, it’s twice as greasy and distracted, and it actually performs a function while it’s hanging around. Critical precision is necessary. The sin “Kokomo” commits, in other words, is not that a saxophone is present at all, but that it underperforms.
— You should really read Stephen Swift’s First Worsts entry on “Kokomo,” And if you did already, you should read it again.