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Hot Action Cop
July 2003

Bradley Nowell would be proud.

If there was one thing Sublime was known for, it was approaching very taboo topics and doing so in a humorous manner. Take a listen to "Wrong Way", which deals with prostitution, incest and pedophilia. While it had great stick-in-your-head musical power, lyrically it was breaching morality barriers left, right and center (sometimes in really bad taste). When Bradley committed suicide, it left alternative music with a void that few have been able to fill.

Hot Action Cop seemed to come out of nowhere to slide gracefully into that position with their debut self-titled album. And while many bands are striving to write the next great rock epic, Hot Action Cop are getting down and dirty and back to the origins of rock & roll: Sex. With a mix of southern rap over SoCal funk metal, the 'Cops have a way of sticking-in-your head with excellent hooks, aggressive vocals and playful lyrics.

Their website mentions influences of Fishbone and Red Hot Chili Peppers., but lead singer/guitarist Rob Werthner claims Radiohead having a deep impact on the way he writes music, though it's rarely evident. Looking more like he should be fronting an Emo band than an ultra-sexual rock rap quintet, Werther has this boy-next-door kind of look to him. He's not covered in tattoos, doesn't have a lick of glam anywhere in him, and hasn't yet traded in his glasses for contact lenses. He's more concerned with the music and performance than impressing his fans, a concept few in Rock have managed to embrace. It's this kind of sensibility that goes into what Hot Action Cop is. They aren't out to become millionaires, they aren't out for the fame; They're out there to make people groove.

While there are offerings of rap-rock, their album is strewn with funky, jazzy, and folky tidbits. There are serious tracks, like the Everlast-esque "Why Judy?", but this is a band that refuses to take themselves too seriously, with offerings like "Dirtbike" in which Werther sings about wanting to be a dirt bike rider (including mimicking a bike's engine throughout), or the acoustic video of "Fever for the Flava" (available on their website), in which Werther sings the entire song with a Manchester accent.

History seems to show us that the musicians who last, are the ones who avoid repetition; the ones who keep an open mind and create their own ebb in the stream. If this proves to be true, the Hot Action Cop should be around for a long while to come.

www.hotactioncop.com
Similar Artists: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More, Limp Bizkit.

zang@wazee.org

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