Monday, July 21, 2014
Recommendation: X-Cops-“You Have the Right to Remain Silent...”
Who better than the guys who gave the world Gwar, to create a band where the members all take on fake cop identities and make satirical punk/metal songs about law enforcement officers? Of course Gwar always carried an anti-authoritarian mentality and enjoyed poking fun at groups of power in American society. With X-cops, the guys from Gwar took on a whole new identity that focused specifically on the police. Each member cleverly came up with their own stereotypical cop name, along with their own unique identity. Dave Brockie of course came up with the most outrageous character, Patrolman Cobb Knobbler. The song, “The Party’s Over,” details his character’s insane personality.
Following closely to the Gwar formula, each track on this album paints a whacky picture of a police force full of vulgar misfits, who I would probably not want patrolling up and down my street. The overall sound is very similar to early Gwar, but with a more noticeable metal edge. Each musician plays their instrument well and the music is really enjoyable. You can tell these guys were having fun when making this music. The songs convey plenty of personality and maintain a catchy punk and metal sound. Songs like “Barbells,” “Welcome to New Jersey,” and my favorite “The Party’s Over,” were written in a hilarious fashion that still pays attention to good solid instrumental structure. There are also some heavy thrashing songs on this album like “5-0” and “Third Leg.” I can hear where this type of music would influence some future punk and metal groups from the Richmond area.
Another reason why I really enjoy this album, is that the band covered Deep Purple’s “Highway Star.” Of Course the X-Cops altered the lyrics to fit with the their theme. “Highway Star” is a classic song that plenty of bands have covered, but the way X-Cops approaches the song sounds amazing. When Deep Purple first made that song they were coming up with something that was raw and very aggressive sounding, especially for the period of time in which it was recorded. Having a punk/ metal band cover the song simply works, because X-Cops perfectly captures that raw aggressive sound. Also, Michael Derks and Peter Lee do a tremendous job tackling Blackmore’s guitar parts. Too bad, if Blackmore wasn’t off dancing with the fairies he could have collaborated with the X-Cops, or jammed “Highway Star” on stage with them.
This album shows that Dave Brockie and the guys in Gwar never stopped using their creative minds to come up with outrageous punk and metal music. X-Cops was a side project that had plenty of potential, but without question could never surpass Gwar’s already enormous status at the time. “You Have the Right to Remain Silent...,” will always be on of my favorite side projects and is also one of my favorite releases to feature the late Dave Brockie. All the songs on this album are catchy and full of hilarious lyrics. In the end the X-Cops came, arrested, rocked out and made us laugh, to which we shall never forget their great contributions to the punk and metal world.