The great artists perfect their craft by transcending the genre they emulate. This is true for this post-dream pop band from Brooklyn, NY – Ex Cops which boasts the combination of Brian Harding and Amalie Bruun on True Hallucinations, their creative new LP released on January 22, 2013.
The album is a strong collection of tracks where the first half sounds more straight forward (barring the first track), but then the second half is an eclectic collection of different genre bending pieces. Overall, the feel is dreamy, melodic, hazy reverb with twangy guitar throughout. The insertion of the different sounds and feel provide the variation to keep the listener interested and wanting more.
Judging by the first track “S&HSXX”, you would think that this is just another hypnotic electronic goth band as they sample the 80’s classic from Genesis called “Mama”. Just a few minutes later though, the listener is catapulted into the musical genre anticipated by Ex Cops as the next 2 songs are the main mood changers on the album with “Ken” and “James”, songs straight from the Pains at Being Pure at Heart text book, intelligent jangle pop. The next two songs “You are a Lion, I am a Lamb” and “Separator” take on a more dreamy, western kind of feel, twangy guitars, dreamy reverbed vocals, a throwback to an ‘80’s band Red Rocker’s “China”. I like what they do here, and they keep the drums muted in the background somewhat on both songs but more on “Separator”. In fact, these are my two favorite songs on the LP.
The second half of the record is a more eclectic collection of songs. Each of them has something different to offer while maintaining the dreamy, overly reverb-like hazy feel and twangy guitar noticed on the first half of the record. Harding’s vocals are whispery and quiet as on “ The Millionaire”, understated and hazy. “Jazz & Information” is more like a song from mid to early ‘90’s psychedelic/ space rock like The Verve or Charlatans UK. “Nico Beast” takes its cues from My Bloody Valentine and Velvet Underground. Overall, I think Ex Cops create something more than their dream pop genre requires of them now. The last couple of years have been dominated with dream pop bands of all kinds. Now that we are in 2013, Ex Cops continues the trend and leads us in a new direction by delving and developing a sound all its own in richer territory and referencing some really great sounds along the way. Ex Cops True Hallucinations is very good record. 8.0 stars out of 10.
Buy it here.
Artist: Ex Cops
Album Name: True Hallucinations
Label/ Release: Other Music, Jan. 22, 2013
Track Listings: 1) S&HSXX 2)Ken 3) James 4)You a Lion, I Am a Lamb 5) Separator 6)Spring Break (Birthday Song) 7)Jazz & Information 8)The Millionaire 9) Billy Pressly 10) Nico Beast 11) Broken Chinese Chairz