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Hard on your hole! - 54%

Galactus, July 19th, 2019

X-Cops is the result of the infamous GWAR squeezing into uniform for a crossover side-project lampooning East Coast beat cops, and doing so with the usual brand of shock humour. The history of law enforcement has provided us with plenty of material to satirise: institutionalised racism, sexism and homophobia, testosterone-fuelled brutality, and, *ahem*, general unprofessionalism. Sadly, You Have the Right to Remain Silent takes "Police Truck" by Dead Kennedys and stretches the joke over 13 tracks.

Worthless introduction 'Interloper' aside, the X-Cops initially set the bar quite high with don't-drop-the-soap stomper "Barbells", but the quality dips drastically as it continues. Lyrically, "Barbells" isn't even particularly funny, but along with "Cavity Search" and "Paddy Wagon Rape", it achieves the right level of caricaturing whilst also having plenty of hooks to satisfy those who are here to find life in the genre. Otherwise, nothing else stands out. The majority is untaxing, interchangeable filler, whilst the lyrically ugly, flabby blues-rocker "Your Mother" is the nadir of creativity and fun. The humour feels quaint; very much a product of the 90s, and manages nothing but surface-level shock: sucking ghost Hitler's cock, inflicting pain on buttholes, and gun penises. On the upside - and this is an almighty stretch - it is tightly performed and the production is clear and punchy, with Casey Orr's vocals elevated in the mix to better deliver (or attempt to) the skits and punchlines.

Obviously, I'm taking this GWAR side-project far too seriously, but it feels like a missed opportunity. Had it better developed each "character" of the group, and dug a little deeper at the gold-mine of substance available, it could have retained some relevance today. As it is, throw three-quarters of the album in the bin and you've got yourself a passable, one-joke EP.

Spin to Win:
"Barbells"
"Cavity Search"
"Welcome to New Jersey"

GWAR with a Badge and a Gun - 75%

Stained Glass Assassin, March 24th, 2019

So a few members of the legendary band GWAR decided to put together a side gig, only the lead singer and guitarist switched roles. Well, there’s more to it than that, but that is the major headline you will see when you read about this band. Anyhow, X-Cops carry over the humor from one band to the other, only the music is pretty straight forward crossover whereas GWAR was a combination of various genres.

As for the music on “You Have the Right to Remain Silent", we get a fast paced, energetic and of course, humorous album. The songs play very much like GWAR; catchy riffs and bombarding drums set within a humorous setting, capturing the nature of the band. They carry the pace of the album, never allowing the listener to become bored with their brazen sound, and quick tempos. In addition, there are a number of short, but shredding solos spliced into the songs that help blend the hardcore vocals and thrash music into a cohesive sound. The drumming is handle by none other than GWARS’ Mike Dunn, so if you’re a fan, you’ll know what to expect. The drums are just as important as the guitars, playing side by side with them to create a catchy and memorable rhythm for most of the songs. As for the vocals, Casey Orr (Beefcake the Mighty) has a nice set of pipes for the crossover sound. Now, he’s dabbled in some additional vocal duties in GWAR, but here, he’s finally turned loose and shows off his ability. He has a gruff tone to his voice, but not so harsh that you cannot understand every word he sings. He exudes just enough anger to get the point across, but just enough fun to keep in line with the ideals of the album.

“Cavity Search” and “Barbells” display the classic GWAR formula, as they both hook the listener with their riffs, while the drums create a nice rhythm, allowing the vocals to focus on the elements of humor. ‘Welcome to New Jersey” is more vintage crossover focused on the fist-pumping music more than anything else. Many of the songs follow suit however, not every song has the same captivating effect. Songs like “Zipper Pig” and “Paddy Wagon Rape” tend to get lost in the humor and as such the music become an afterthought forcing the riffs to become dry and the drums stale. Also, there is a cover of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”, which they add enough of their own twist to not only respect the source material, but give it a new sound.

All in all, for fans of GWAR or crossover in general, you can’t go wrong checking this out. I can’t say that this blew me off my feet, but it was memorable, which goes a long way with a humorous band such as GWAR. You may not find any classic tracks or groundbreaking material on this album, but I’d be willing to bet you’ll have a good time and get a kick out of the classic GWAR mentality.

Highlights: “Welcome to New Jersey” “Cavity Search” “Barbells”

Into the Abyss of Oblivion

X-Cops Patrol Your Streets Tonight! - 100%

Sexecutioner, April 10th, 2007

In the mid 90s, GWAR formed the X-Cops as a side project.

The sound, as with most GWAR albums, is hard to pin down. It's thrashy and punkish at the same time. It's heavier than what GWAR was doing at the time of its release. Also like GWAR, excellent use is made of samples courtesy of Dave Musel, or Philip McRevis as he's known in X-Cops. The bass on the album is very prominent which gives it a cool sound. The guitar work is done by Mike Derks (a.k.a. Balsac the Jaws of Death / Louis Scrapinetti) and Pete Lee (a.k.a. Flattus Maximus / Al Depantsia). Drums are handled by Mike Dunn (as Cadet Billy Club), who throws in a healthy dose of double-bass.

Most of the songs are sung by Sheriff Tubb Tucker (Casey Orr a.k.a. Beefcake the Mighty). He sounds absolutley badass on this album, with some of his best moments coming in “Welcome to New Jersey”, “3rd Leg”, “You Fucked Up”, and “5-0”.

Other members get their chance at lead vocals as well. Bassist Cobb Knobbler (Dave Brockie a.k.a. Oderus Urungus) sings “The Party's Over” introducing himself as the “Bay Area gay Aryan”. Bob Gorman, one of the leading prop fabricators for GWAR, takes on the role of Zipper Pig for his namesake song. Mountain Bike Officer Biff Buff (Brad Roberts, a.k.a. Jizmak da Gusha) takes lead vocals on “Bar Bells”, which is probably my personal favorite track on the album. That being said, it's hard to pick a definite favorite because the whole album kicks ass. They even throw in a great cover of “Highway Star”, with some lyrical alterations to fit the X-Cops concept.

Absolutely essential for GWAR fans, and highly recommended for fans of punk and thrash.