STOMP ON TRIP WIRES - The Cops (Love Police)
The Cops’ debut album is a explosive fusion of disparate rock and pop styles and genres, an atomic collision of raw and manufactured sounds, a collection of songs that is a welcome departure from recent trends toward the polar extremes of moronic white metal and FM friendly insipid pop. Its influences range from the headbanging world of linear metal rock, to the futuristic voyeurism of Devo, early 1990s UK computer-fueled pop rock to nasty suburban garage angst.
This is a genuinely ecletic album, and it deserves all the most indulgent superlatives that can be found.
The opening track, "Spoc", sets the scene for the rest of the album, with a hodge podge of dischordant fuzz, background vocals and sampling. The second track, "Foxtrot Yankee", is apparently on high rotation on the Australian national yoof network, Triple J, and it’s not hard to see why. An opening riff that’s straight out of Bad Religion, a wirey bass line that forces its way into your head and refuses to leave without a fight, some Sunnyboys style choppy guitar and a culminating keyboard wash before a sitar flavoured fade out.
The sort-of-political "Cop City Music" is a complete change in tack, taking the funk of middle period Clash, with electronica rock of Pop Will Eat Itself and dashed off with a wailing guitar solo that would make Keith Richards c1972 proud. Rectify wanders comfortably between the electronic rock typified by Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine and the English blues based hard rock genre (Led Zeppelin and everyone who fancies themselves as the heir apparent to Jimmy Page).
"Dirty Little Rebel" is funky blues pop that builds on an opening twanging duel between guitar and bass, with some keyboard/piano orchestral augmentation. "Mister Pretty Thing" owes something to the Beastie Boys, but the prevailing lick is straight out of Mick Ronson’s grave, while "Wallet/Puffer/Smokes/Keys" evolves from cute electronica pop into a fusion of wah wah and funk, with a repetitive (and amusing) lyrical refrain. I could’ve sworn I heard a Hall and Oates sample in "Street Panther" (think "Rich Girl", if that doesn’t make you feel too ill), but while I might be mistaken about that, I was wasn’t mistaken in wanting desperately to get off my seat on the tram and start dancing.
"Don’t Fuck With My Sugar" (the only track not written soley by Simon Carter) combines the fuzz drenched chords of the Scientists with thei ronic pub rock of the Casanovas, iced neatly with some prog rock influenced vocal harmonies. "The Shake" took me on a journey to the glam rock world of London c1974, and what a pleasant journey it was.
The final tracks, "Treat You Like A Dog", "Cobra Nights" and "Fisticuffs", ensure the album finishes on a high, with pop rock
licks, eclectic vocal samples, and subtle keyboard excursions.
The more I listened to this CD, the more I liked it – and the real beauty of it is that, unlike so many other loud rock albums, it
doesn’t get lost in its own self-indulgence. If there is to be a criticism of this album, it’s that it tries to be too clever. That,
however, would be like calling Stephen Hawking a smart arse – the pejorative assessment isn’t necessarily incorrect, but if you’ve got the skill then why be chastised for just doing your thing. - Patrick Emery
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