Fake Cops

Absolutely Your Credit is Excellent But In a Certain Way We Also Need Cash EP

(Mockingbird; 2004)

By Scott Reid | 28 March 2004

Absolutely Your Credit… is the debut EP release from the Fake Cops, a Calgary based four-piece whose sound falls somewhere between the intense dance-rock of Hot Hot Heat and post-punk tension of bands like Drive Like Jehu and fellow Canucks the Constantines. The group comes blasting out of Calgary (I suppose when your scene is as ignored as theirs, you have to scream extra loud for people to hear you) with enough energy to grab our attention and, really, it’s too bad that the songs aren’t strong enough to keep us entertained once they’ve demanded it.

“Snake Eyes” opens the EP, and in its brief two and a half minutes you’ve heard all this EP has to offer: truncated, intertwining guitar riffs that recall the aforementioned Constantines and Fugazi, an incredibly tight, unpredictable rhythm section (consisting of drummer Ian Russell and bassist Brooker Buckingham) and the over-accentuated vocals (shared between Buckingham and guitarist Hurricane Hopkins) that at times sound uncannily like a mixture of ex-Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri (on the excellent second track “Sir, You’re Not Blowing”, especially) and the annoying theatrics of Ima Robot’s Alex Ebert.

Unfortunately, even for an EP, the band isn’t capable of making it consistently interesting; though “Sir You’re Not Blowing” and “Snake Eyes” get the EP off to a promising start, “We Will Turn the Five Year Plan Into a Four Year One” and “Two Mutes Two Not” offer little to make them more than just decent run-throughs of what we’ve already heard (not only in the first two songs, but from artists before them). Though the former has some of, by far, the best guitar interplay on the album, the song fails to ever really take off.

“Roche Aux Fees” frustratingly ends the EP; not because it’s terrible and not because it falls into the same rut as the couple of cuts before it, but because it succeeds where most of this EP fails (the melody actually, uh, exists), giving us a mere glimpse at the kind of potential that seemed to elude the band just minutes earlier. But I shouldn’t complain about this kind of rush of inspiration since it saves the last half of the EP from being completely disposable.

As good as the track is, Fake Cops could stand to pull a few more tricks out of their sleeves, especially if they intend on holding our attention for more than just an EP at a time. An inconsistent debut isn’t the most promising move a band could make, but it’s still early enough in the band’s career (they’ve been together less than two years) to, hopefully, filter out the instantly forgettable aspects (a mediocre riff and some screaming just isn’t going to cut it) and channel the talent they clearly have into something much more memorable.