Starting with their intentionally confrontational (and controversial) name, New York City's Cop Shoot Cop
are descended from the darker impulses of the early-'80s no wave movement that produced noisy, disagreeable, anti-social, but often very intriguing bands such as Mars
, and Teenage Jesus & the Jerks
. As with those combos, the Cops
eschew the impulse of pop altogether, preferring a rumbling, clattering, deafening, metallic sound that focuses on the band's two-bass, no-guitar attack. The song narratives tend toward simplistic doom-and-gloom observations -- a point they often belabor. But when this bummer-rock clicks, it's oddly compelling, if slightly intimidating stuff, crammed to the gills with the standard litany of contemporary urban angst: anomie, alienation, and boredom. Add to this the odd meters, low-end bassist Natz
's yelling (he never describes it as singing), and forays into pure noise, and what you end up with is an anti-rock style that, despite its repetitive tendencies, is furious, frightening, and powerful. Despite the inherent anti-commerciality of their music, as well as the band's disdain for corporate-controlled major labels, they did land a contract with Interscope Records, part of the Atlantic family. Despite the more accessible sound of their later records, Cop Shoot Cop
remain an acquired taste, even for those who like their rock edgy and uncompromising.