The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Ex Cops: Daggers (Downtown Records, 2014)

Decepciones

La delgada línea que separa el Drem-Pop electrónico (hablemos, por ejemplo de lo que hacen School of Seven Bells) del Electro-Dance más comercial (ya os imaginaréis de qué hablo) es precisamente la que han superado Ex Cops con su segundo trabajo: Daggers es un trabajo infumable que en demasiadas ocasiones supera esa delgada línea de la que hablaba y se convierte en un mero vehículo para el lucimiento de la bonita voz de Amalie Bruun y bien poco más. Me gusta Black soap, aunque el tratamiento electrónico ya comienza a hacer su efecto. Y a partir de ahí, mejor ni hablar. algún estribillo bonito (White noise) y jugar a nada. Mal bagaje para un segundo disco con el que el dúo inician un cambio de rumbo sonoro que probablemente no les lleve a ningún sitio.

“While Bruun thrives in this setting, Brian Harding’s muttered, displaced vocals are the only way you’ll remember that Ex Cops also made True Hallucinations, a debut that also used enthusiasm to compensate for tardiness—in that case, a style of glistening dream-pop reminiscent of a time where the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, DIIV, and Wild Nothing were what you immediately thought of when people used “indie rock” and “Brooklyn” in the same sentence. That album came out in 2013 and it seems like a decade ago. This isn’t a change of heart, it’s a heart transplant, and a cynic could use its convenient timing as irrefutable proof of Ex Cops as commerce rather than art. That’s also a shitty double standard: if we’re really to take their word that they are and always were a pop band, part of the job is sounding of the moment. They’ve succeeded on that end. But Daggers is easy enough to like and impossible to trust.
Engage with Daggers and you hear pandering ad exec logic, an attempt to identify a demographic that considers themselves “indie” but not an outcast. You go to dance clubs! Or at least you’d like the idea of it. Bruun sings, “I never hear songs that lead me to the dance floor,” because this is dance music for contained debauchery, kitchen drinking. You do drugs! Or at least you know people who do; “Pretty Shitty” tries to contract the same incapacitating mental and physical corruption that infects Sky Ferreira (Night Time, My Time contributor Justin Raisen produced all 11 songs and co-wrote a few as well), except Ex Cops never sound like they’re willing to shed blood or have any skin in the game. The chorus of “Pretty Shitty” might be in some way a response to Bruun’s experience in Myrkur, but, “How can you be so shitty/ To a girl so pretty?” seems more in line with the pervasive, aggressive insipidness, Ex Cops claiming “pop” as a cop out.
For example, the chorus from “Teenagers”—”We can start a war/ ‘Cause we’re insecure/ We’re like teenagers.” Like most lines here, it scans as Ex Cops guessing at the listener’s emotions rather than feeling their own, but you know what? Ex Cops are like teenagers, if you’re willing to take a generous view of Daggers and hear it as a concept album about the particularly adolescent desperation of seeking acceptance, of doing anything and everything to fit in. On the closing “Weird With You”, Harding begs, “I wanna be dumb with you/ I wanna be numb with you/ I wanna be weird with you.” It’s the first moment of true self-awareness, Ex Cops admitting that if someone just walks in front, they’ll follow the leader” (Pitchfork)

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22 enero, 2015 - Posted by | Ex Cops

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