Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Cop Shoot Cop
Cop Shoot Cop were a controversial New York band that existed in a short window between 1987 and 1994, playing into the role of the burgeoning "industrial/alternative" loop that somehow fed clubs with Reznor fans and shitheads alike. It's pretty easy to see where they diverge from this stereotype. Early works like Consumer Revolt and White Noise were deep seated in sarcasm and abrasion, taking an almost ephemeral quality to the musical structure. Things changed after a while, but for the entirety of the band's existence, they purposefully avoided the road towards popularity (or a lead guitarist, for that matter).
Cop Shoot Cop appends nihilism to the growing list of influences which you could attribute to them; artists like Big Black, Killing Joke and Foetus certainly spring to mind. With the aid of a competent producer, their 1993 masterpiece allowed these influences to bloom into the turgid mess known as Ask Questions Later, arguably one of the most powerful "alternative" albums of the decade. Lead bassist (that's not a typo) Tod A.'s caustic songwriting dances furtively between disillusionment and affectation, burning one of the least travailed bridges between the mordant and the accessible. If nothing else, Cop Shoot Cop did what nobody else on the industrial/alternative fence could do -- make an album worth giving a damn about.
Just listen to the first track, it's enormous -- "Surprise, Surprise":