I say that the number of Pitchfork album reviews is more important than the score of those album reviews. If you were to compare the career of an Artist who has one album review with a high score, vs. an Artist who has a half dozen reviews with mediocre or even poor scores, you know that the first Artist literally hasn't done shit since they got their award, because otherwise Pitchfork would be at least reviewing it.
I think the proper way to express the relationship between Pitchfork and the Artists who get their albums reviewed is that Pitchfork is a kind of global university/college for non-Top 40 musical Artists. You can think of the various local and international artist generating scene/locations as being the equivalent of "high school/secondary school." So not everyone from high school goes to college, and not everyone who goes to college graduates, and no everyone who graduates goes on to a succesful post-college life. "Post-college life" in this analogy would be the universe of Top 40 bands.
Examples of Artists who have made it "all the way" are Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, M83, Animal Collective, The Shins, Deerhunter. End of list. The goal however, is not necessarily to be one of the graduating Artists who makes it to Top 40, it is to obtain four LP review in a five year period or so to demonstrate that you have what it takes to survive. After all, music is a business, and while fashions come and go, the business side is built on productive personal relationships and reliability, and band with 3+ Pitchfork album review has shown that they have both attributes.
Far worse is to have a first LP reviewed and to then release a second LP and have it ignored entirely. That is the equivalent of flunking out of college. It doesn't mean you won't succeed, but it is not a great indicator of future success.
I think it's fair to think of Pitchfork editorial as being a kind a faculty of prim, grim faced professors. I mean obviously, Pitchfork takes itself seriously. Individual teachers/reviewers are free to hand out their own grades, but the central administration retains discretion to make grading policies consistent over the entire faculty.
Within that world, Crocodiles are like a smart-ass student with potential but one who doesn't really do well within the constraints of the "academic" system, a band whose strengths are simply not particularly appreciated by this global University of non Top 40 music. However, they are also a student who has managed to graduate, perhaps with average marks, but with a diploma.
I can tell you from my own personal experience over 7 years of post-high school education, that is not a bad place to be in. There is nothing wrong with being a straight A student but it doesn't necessarily set you up for real world success once you leave. At the same time, failing to graduate by releasing the sufficient number of LPs in the four/five year time line (unless you already made it to Top 40) is the absolute worst thing that could happen.
All I'm saying is that once you've actually had 3-5 Pitchfork Album Reviews, the actual scores are less important then simply continuing to release records on a periodic basis, preferably once every 12-18 months.