Who? Seattle quintet the Cops took shape as a trio in 2004. Michael Jaworski (vocals/guitar), John Randolph (guitar) and ex-Kinski member David Weeks (drums) released the Why Kids Go Wrong EP and full-length Get Good or Stay Bad in 2005, then added former Supersucker Drew Church (bass) in early 2006. Their forthcoming sophomore LP, Free Electricity (out Nov. 6 via the Control Group), was recorded as a foursome before guitarist Brandon Bay was added to the band this summer, finally completing the Cops as a five-piece. Playing Bumbershoot’s Sound Transit stage Saturday (Sept. 1) at 12:45 P.M.
What’s the Deal? On Free Electricity, the Cops’ staccato stop-and-go six-string rhythms couple with abusive drumming to create a surprisingly danceable set. “Mega Suicide” and “Secret Lives” pummel like guitar-fueled bulldozers, though they serve as exceptions to the dance-rock rule. “It’s Epidemic” opens the album with a frantic mess of jutting guitars, while the sparse but insanely catchy “Light It Off” evokes images of a beefed-up Spoon. “Islands” sounds like better amplified !!!, while “Modern Black Flats” compares to Wire and Gang of Four 45s played at 33 1/3 RPM. It’s the organ-drenched blast “Cold Crushin'” that steals the disc, mimicking a scream-less Blood Brothers to rump-shaking effect.
Fun Fact: Cops bassist Drew Church owns a bar in Seattle called Hazelwood with ex-Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd. GARY L. BLACKWELL, JR.
Stay tuned to SPIN.com’s coverage of Bumbershoot 2007, which goes down this weekend in Seattle, and watch a video interview with the Cops plus snippets of their Bumbershoot set!
Now Hear This:
The Cops – “It’s an Epidemic” DOWNLOAD MP3
Talk: How much power can The Cops generate with Free Electricity?
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