True Hallucinations (CD, LP)

    Other Music Recording Co.

  • $13.99

Accolades are already pouring in for this debut from Other Music Recording Co.'s own Ex Cops, and it's all well deserved (if we do say so ourselves). Admittedly, this quartet aren't exactly the first band to make buzz-saw dreamy guitar-pop reverberations, but you'd be hard pressed to find another group these days who does it with this kind of letter-perfect precision. Ex Cops were the first band we signed to our label imprint, and their full-length debut should help you understand why.

Led by Brian Harding and Amalie Bruun, Ex Cops make the kind of indie guitar pop that plays out like an early-'90s roll call (MBV, Teenage Fanclub, Jesus & Mary Chain), but instead of simply aspiring to create a reverential tribute album, the group offers their own unique twist on the genre, concentrating on the songwriting and using the hazy reverb as sonic balm and texture instead of the other way around. Tracks like "James," "Billy Pressly" and the propulsive lead single "Ken" beef up the shimmery urgent jangle of all of your fave C86 bands and are tempered with some lovely perfectly-placed girl-boy harmonies from Amalie and Brian, evoking visions of a lost Robin Guthrie-produced Vaselines session. Each song is a lesson in economy and grace, with enough variety (the foreboding synth-heavy intro "S&HSXX," the woozy Velvets strut of "Nico Beast," or the girl-group sway of "Spring Break (Birthday Song)," and the whole thing scoots by in just over a half an hour, never overstaying its welcome, leaving you the listener eager for more. One of the best records/debuts of 2013, and I honestly mean that.

-Duane Harriott


"You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb"