Ex Cops – True Hallucinations

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Ex Cops – True Hallucinations
Other Music
January 22, 2013

What It Sounds Like:  Short, sweet bursts of uptempo indie dream-pop from a duo (now turned five piece!) who wants to turn their bedroom recordings into a fuller, proper, well-refined record.

I can see the future, so let me tell you how it’s gonna go down with this Ex Cops record.

They’re gonna play all the festivals this summer – I know it.  Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, etc.  They’re gonna play to mid-sized crowds in the blazing afternoon sun.  Sweat dripping off their foreheads, full of energy – giving it everything they’ve got.  They’re going to put on a good show – there’s no question about it.

But then…they’re going to fade into the backdrop.

I wish this wasn’t so, because while the songs on True Hallucinations are far from bad (they’re actually quiet listenable, and catchy), they’re so dime-a-dozen, there isn’t a reason for them to succeed.  Take that nice, lighthearted guitar riff that kicks off and continues throughout Separator.  It floats along on a spring’s breeze, and falls upon your ear warmly.  Relaxing and chilled out; life is good.  But it’s so simple, how could it not have already been done before?  How can someone else not write such a simple song as well?  Where is the firm’s unique property?  It goes on and on.  Ken, James, You Are A Lion I Am A Lamb…I simply don’t know what these guys really want to do.  Do they want to rock out like The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, or do they want to play background music tunes while the sunlight pours in their bedroom window and they dream of actually doing something worthwhile?

It’s an interesting scenario that Ex Cops have put themselves in.  They have plenty of songs here that are ready to make them some sweet royalties by licensing their music to commercials, but possibly not ones that people are going to pay a little money to see preformed live.  Tell me you can’t see Spring Break (Birthday Song) being used in the next Carnival Cruise Lines ad with a little girl and her dad going down water slide in slow-motion, while the camera cuts to his older daughter winning some money at a slot machine with his wife.

The sax is a welcome and unique addition to Jazz And Information, while the rest of the tracks fall into more various dream-pop spectrums.

I’m prepared to eat my words if this band breaks through.  It’s like I said – it’s far from bad or ill-conceived.  The tunes are catchy, and their spirit is easy to let it run through you.  It’s simply a question of supply and demand.  If this band succeeds, I don’t believe it’s because they’re so much better than everything else out there – it’s because they happened to sign to the right label, with the right promotion, and fill the right void, at the right time.

We’ll see what happens.

6/10

If you had to listen to two tracks:  Spring Break (Birthday Song) / Jazz And Information

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