At the start of the summer, when the weather was getting better and a unanimous mood of revelry seized the streets we saw Belfast based trio extraordinaire, Hot Cops, play in Dublin’s Bello Bar. Unequivocally, the standout moment from that performance was the debut of ‘Dumbbo’, a story of an elephant and an exploration into why we as people become so fascinated and engrossed by things that do not have an immediate effect on our lives. Reviewing that gig (read it here), we described Hot Cops as a band that will ignite a special kind of enthusiasm for music. ‘Dumbbo’, is the pinnacle of this invigoration.
The single has everything you could want from a lo-fi grunge rock song. Easing you into the most delectable four minutes of music you’ll enjoy this year is the coupling of an eery guitar distortion and an unassuming bass line, which gradually culminate in a seismic instrumental quake that will leave you rattling to the core and left in disbelief of how mesmerising the song is. Lyrically and musically, ‘Dumbbo’ is the most mature and refined composition to come from Carl, Nathan and Conor. The song, at times, feels like a continuation of the themes addressed in the band’s previous single, ‘Passive Passive.’ Social curiosities and frustrations are at the fore of Eccles’ songwriting style and ‘Dumbbo’ is, in essence, about an elephant that gets separated from his herd and takes the wrong way home.
Hot Cops are often compared to heavyweight bands such as Parquet Courts, Pavement, and Cloud Nothings. However, to compare the young trio is a gross injustice to their originality, they write songs that unhinge their audiences due to the expressive and uninhibited nature throughout their lyrical intent as well as the unmasked reality that they are sonically very, very loud. They have been impressively consistent in maintaining and progressing the quality of their atmospheric, visceral and captivating music.
‘Dumbbo’, along with the rest of Hot Cops’ nonchalantly angsty songs, is best experienced live. One of the most sensible pieces of advice you could heed would be to go see the guys play with Oh Boland in one of Dublin’s finest venues, Whelan’s, on August 19th.