Album Reviews

Hot Action Cop – Hot Action Cop

UK release date: 9 June 2003


Hot Action Cop are singer RobWerthner, guitarist Tim Flaherty, Bass Luis Espaillatand drummer Kory Knipp (that really is his name). Robis originally from New York but now resides with therest of the band in Nashville, home of countrymusic.

This, their first, self-titledalbum is a concoction of 12 hip-hop, rock based, funkand acoustic tinged songs, mostly about sex and women.Germaine Greer will not be playing it before she goesout on a Friday night and it will not be on The MaryWhitehouse Christmas album. At first listen it isprobably an album that the kids of America will beplaying during their Spring break, which like thiswill be saturated with booze and sex. There is even anadvert, in the inlay, for fans to send pictures oftheir naked girlfriends to the band at their homeaddress. It’s that kind of album.

As we all know, things are notalways what they seem at first. It is true that thisalbum has a lot of toilet humour in it. Witness: “She’s thegreatest, mostest, beautifulest piece of ass in theworld, oh…”. But if you scratch the surface, there ismore than the shallow misgivings of a teenage boy.

The musicians are blatantly goodat what they do. The seven-string guitar of TimFlaherty adds depth to the rock anthems and clarity tothe softer numbers. The songs are well written, theguitar lines and riffs in the heavier songs with therap vocals like Doom Boom make your head nodinvoluntarily. It is on their softer, more rock basedinfusions where I think Hot Action Cop are at theirbest. The opening riffs to Busted and Why Judy arepure Red Hot Chili Peppers at their Under TheBridge best, which is a good thing. The similaritiesand comparisons don’t end there. You can also hearFred Durst when he raps, and the break-off clubslut is early Metallica.

The record is scatteredwith coarseness and doesn’t waste time with innuendo, butthere is humour of a slightly higher class. The lyricsin Show Her talk of the Brady bunch as a bunch of potsmoking, LSD taking, sci-fi porn watching freaks. Atthe same time there is the social commentary ofteenage angst in Busted:”Little baby lost to world outside/ trying not to letanyone inside/ only love you get is from a TV set/ andit makes you crazy.” Okay, not Roger Waters, butstill poignant.

Hidden at the end of the albumis an acoustic ballad about love and loss thatcompletely contrasts the other tracks on the album. InA Little While shows the softer, reflective side thatis obviously trying to get out of Rob Werthner. Thecontrasting styles, from rap to balladry, show off hisversaltile voice.

The single, Fever For The Flava,is the weakesttrack – a funk rock rap record that is annoying,childish and, quite frankly, crap. It has a catchyenough chorus, but why release it as a single? Whilstbringing on board a few fans through the sexy video,it will surely alienate more. Maybe I will be provedwrong and more people will hear this party album thathas a lot more to offer than a three-minute joke video.They are not going to go down in rock history but ifyou like Limp Bizkit or theChili Peppers and American Pie humour, this iswell worth a listen.


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