Saturday, February 20, 2016


Simon observes that there's not that many bands with two bassists. True, but luckily there is also.... Cop Shoot Cop.

Now given that Cop Shoot Cop remain one of my favourite bands of all time I am hard pressed not to just post all their albums up here. Instead I’ll do a rough chronology of best (bass) bits from Piece Man through to Release, from sharp-edged, metallic, primarily percussive Neubautenism to the more slickly produced, propulsive rubberized bounce once they got onto a major. The two-bass, percussion and sampler set up was a deliberate attempt to Smash Retro, to force rock into a different direction, expand the logic of post punk, staying true to their anti-Reaganite political vision and their experience of poverty and exclusion in the New York of the Eighties. Why they aren't celebrated as one of the great bands of the period (or indeed all-time) remains a mystery when also-rans Drive like Jehu are somehow headlining ATP. Off we go.



 A great high-toned hulking beast of a bassline on this bad boy.


 What's a lousy cut of meat/without a stinking crust of bread?

 But can't resist posting this one for the way the bass is used to lunge in, scatter shards and shrapnel around, generate tension.


 50 grand would make me a man!

But could also be used  to produce lovely, elegiac,chrome-plated melodic lines when they needed to get more ballady on us. Even if they were ballads about existential and political deadlock.


 Injustice is never an accident.

And also managed to combine the icily mournful with surges of bracingly cold funk. Plus some of the best lyrics, possibly the only explicitly political lyrics of the era.


Everything was easier when you had your time/ you have taken my innocence and now you want my prime/now what have you given me to remember you by/but hazy excuses and a handful of lies.?

Of course as they launched Project Mersh fully things started to get more conventionally rocky. Ask Questions Later tries to get into RATM and Springsteen territory, (Room 429) (among many other things) at the same time. Fantastically well in both cases, with extra doses of snark and Romanticism.

 Surprise, Surprise! The Government lies!

The below is probably a Natz track. Natz, to be fair, was the less interesting of the two vocalist/bassist both musically and lyrically tending to emphasize the post-Birthday Party/Scratch Acid to Jesus Lizard, skronk and howl. There's a bit too much Johnny Cash and Rockabilly in Natz's track as as opposed to the starker, wry Europeanism in Todd A's stuff, still this is a beauty.


If your lover used to beat you with his anger/if your mother used to tie you to a rock/ observe your former life preserved in amber/ like someone pulled the power on the clock.

The last album, Release goes full on for memorable, bouncy bass lines and is their most Stranglerish (clearly an unacknowledged influence) but still manages to produce some post Neubauten/ Young Gods derived clangoursly driving industrial belters a la.....

 Another Natz track, I suspect.

But the best of this is definitely Todd A ( who went on to found the brilliant Rain Dogs era Waits inspired

 Can't really pick a best track, it's generally superb.

One last track then? Indulge me! A rather beautifully deployed scatter-shot, swelling melodic line from Days Will Pass another of the haunting, cusp-of-defeat semi-lullabies they also plied.


 We write the book/ we take the praise but not the blame.

Ah, so true! Drive like  bloody Jehu, I ask you.......

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