Album Reviews

Hot Action Cop – Hot Action Cop

(Lava/Atlantic) UK release date: 9 June 2003

Hot Action Cop - Hot Action Cop

Hot Action Cop are singer Rob Werthner, guitarist Tim Flaherty, bassist Luis Espaillat and drummer Kory Knipp (that really is his name). Rob is originally from New York but now resides with the rest of the band in Nashville, home of country music.

This, their first, self-titled album is a concoction of 12 hip-hop, rock based, funk and acoustic tinged songs, mostly about sex and women. Germaine Greer will not be playing it before she goes out on a Friday night and it will not be on The Mary Whitehouse Christmas Album. At first listen it is probably an album that the kids of America will be playing during their Spring break, which like this will be saturated with booze and sex. There is even an advert, in the inlay, for fans to send pictures of their naked girlfriends to the band at their home address. It’s that kind of album.

As we all know, things are not always what they seem at first. It is true that this album has a lot of toilet humour in it. Witness: “She’s the greatest, mostest, beautifulest piece of ass in the world, oh…”. But if you scratch the surface, there is more than the shallow misgivings of a teenage boy.

The musicians are blatantly good at what they do. The seven-string guitar of Tim Flaherty adds depth to the rock anthems and clarity to the softer numbers. The songs are well written, the guitar lines and riffs in the heavier songs with the rap vocals like Doom Boom make your head nod involuntarily. It is on their softer, more rock based infusions where I think Hot Action Cop are at their best. The opening riffs to Busted and Why Judy are pure Red Hot Chili Peppers at their Under The Bridge best, which is a good thing. The similarities and comparisons don’t end there. You can also hear Fred Durst when he raps, and the break-off is early Metallica.

The record is scatteredwith coarseness and doesn’t waste time with innuendo, butt here is humour of a slightly higher class. The lyricsin Show Her talk of the Brady bunch as a bunch of pot smoking, LSD taking, sci-fi porn watching freaks. At the same time there is the social commentary of teenage angst in Busted:”Little baby lost to world outside/ trying not to let anyone inside/ only love you get is from a TV set/ and it makes you crazy.” Okay, not Roger Waters, but still poignant.

Hidden at the end of the album is an acoustic ballad about love and loss that completely contrasts the other tracks on the album. InA Little While shows the softer, reflective side that is obviously trying to get out of Rob Werthner. The contrasting styles, from rap to balladry, show off his versatile voice.

The single, Fever For The Flava, is the weakest track – a funk rock rap record that is annoying, childish and, quite frankly, crap. It has a catchy enough chorus, but why release it as a single? Whilst bringing on board a few fans through the sexy video, it will surely alienate more. Maybe I will be proved wrong and more people will hear this party album that has a lot more to offer than a three-minute joke video.They are not going to go down in rock history but if you like Limp Bizkit or the Chili Peppers and American Pie humour, this is well worth a listen.

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Hot Action Cop – Hot Action Cop