Anybody But The Cops
The Future of Punk To-Go [7-inch; Already Dead]

Truth be told, I wrote this review once and it got erased somehow. That’s the digital age when you’re a dummy right? Now that I’ve got my bearings (and am, once again, ‘save’-minded) I’ll take another crack at The Shape of Punk To-Go because, well, that’s what must be done. Not to mention that, from the get-go, this sweet 7-inch is a huge surprise from a label that’s been flourishing like a well-placed foster child taken in at a rich computer magnate’s behest. Anybody But The Cops cut vocals out of the equation, thus aligning them with a lot of bands I love (Race Car Riot and By The End Of Tonight the closest match soundwise) a lot more than the public seems to. I mean remember, Zach Hill of Death Grips didn’t get nearly as much attention as one-half of instrumental duo Hella, despite the fact that they shredded. But I digest, when it comes to the Don Caballero generation I think people got sick of the genre because (and I worked in college radio at the time so I know) it seemed at the time like every other band was either post-rockin’ it or going for a more extreme, technically dexterous version of the artform. It somehow became trendy to go instrumental, and whenever that occurs a backlash is inevitable. It’s funny though because you see bands like Explosions In The Sky pop up and no one seems to have a problem with their choice of expression; maybe if you’re really, really good there are free passes available? And if there are, can we get a laminate for Anybody But The Cops? Now that we’ve dealt with that, the muzak: It’s great. It’s not overly academic, nor math-y. The drummer definitely slams her high-hats with aplomb and makes a mess of convention when it comes to adhering to time signatures, but she’s not as much a show-pony as a steady, strangely stealthy mare that kicks like a summbitch if you piss it off. She (I told my daughter today: drummers love playing in bands like ABTC) is the focal point of the twists and turns proffered by tracks like “Victoria’s Secret Service” and “Heather’s Favorite Puking Spot” and likely a sweaty freak in-concert. I wish the guitars were produced a little looser, but what does get out of the speakers is tight and taut, ready to snap along with the skins if the car runs off the road. I always short bass players, and I will unfortunately do that again because I’m running out of room, but you should know: Sublime’s secret ingredient was its amazingly fluent bass player, and Anybody But The Cops is a similar deal because everything the other two thrashers do is validated and consecrated by those four strings. It’s no joke, and despite the pun-title (not a big fan of those) The Shape of Punk To-Go will arrest you with its quick, split-second slashes, and those cuffs are damn cold! Already Dead’s usually a tape label and they did right by the 7-inch format on this one. Amen.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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