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Hot Action Cop - Hot Action Cop Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 March 2003

Hot Action Cop
Hot Action Cop
format: CD
label: Lava Records
release year: 2002
performance: 6
sound 6
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

ImageThese Hot Action Cops have obviously been hot on the trail of The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ artistic path, since many of these tracks are dead ringers for the kind of rock-funk that band has already perfected (and probably worn out).

The group’s self-titled album opens unwisely with “Doom Boom,” which makes this quartet sound far closer to a Chili Peppers tribute band than anything else. Worse still, however, is “Fever For The Flava,” which is just a little too much like The Peppers’ “Give It Away,” right down to the rubbery vocals. The only thing that even differentiates these guys a little bit from the C.P. template is Rob Werthner’s singing, which is oftentimes scratchy, in a Kid Rock sort of way.

The album is at its peak – which, admittedly, isn’t a very high one -- when the listener can pick out non-Pepper references. “Don’t Want Her To Stay,” for example, begins with the guitar riff from “I Want You Back,” originated by The Jackson 5. This track also features big grungy group vocals and a semi-punky beat. The album closes with “In A Little While,” which is surprisingly gentle and features only picked guitar, minimal drums and a cracked vocal. “The Special” is sort of a Beatle-y rocker, with a falsetto chorus. “Busted” slows things down considerably for a kind of Southern rock ballad. Both “Show Her” and “Why Judy” reach back for a little Philadelphia International-inspired smooth soul.

But even though Hot Cop Action step away from slavishly following the
Sgt. Chili Pepper army’s musical vibe now and again, they’re never far from that band’s favorite sex-obsessed lyrical targets. “Club Slut” is a big guitar rocker that tells the story of an easy woman, while “Show Her” is a sort of a rude ‘n’ crude love song. “Alayal” is a mid-tempo meditation on the allure of beautiful girls, and describes how these lovely ones always seem to get away with whatever they please. Maybe if this album moves the kinds of multiple units the Red Hot Chili Peppers regularly push out the door, the guys of Hot
Cop Action may actually get a few of these elusive girls they so obviously desire.

Michael Baker produced Hot Cop Action, and the music here positively jumps out of the speakers in many places. So long as you don’t listen too closely, you just may enjoy what you hear. However, upon detective-like inspection, Hot Action Cop is guilty as charged in a severe case of musical counterfeiting. Wouldn’t they just love to be Peppers, too.

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