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Kopek

White Collar Lies

(Religion; US: 29 Jun 2010; UK: Import)

Arena rock lives! Um -- too bad

Arena rock isn’t dead—it’s alive and kicking in Ireland, of all places. Dublin-based trio Kopek is out to reclaim the throne once claimed by the likes of Guns ‘n’ Roses, or possibly Queen, with thudding anthems, cod-philosophical vocals, and a drummer who hits things really hard with sticks. Hey, it might work.


Opening salvo “Cocaine Chest Pains” introduces the sound: guitars (fuzzy), drums (thudding), bass (ditto) and vocals (hmm—earnest), and marries all this to a reliable rock ‘n’ roll topic: drugs. So far so good, and when the band allow themselves to rely on this formula, the results are pleasant enough, if hardly compelling. Need something to listen to while driving 75 mph across Oklahoma? Here you go.


The band gets into trouble when they, sigh, try to get serious. Guys, didn’t you learn anything at all from Rush? Apparently not. “White Collar Lies” is one of the dumbest anti-war songs ever—really, it’s almost enough to make me enlist. “Bigger Than Us All” makes the same mistake concerning, I dunno, relationships or something. Far more entertaining are the true no-brainers like “Love Is Dead” and “Fever”. Sample lyric: “So won’t you give it away? Why don’t you give it away? I’ll help you give it away”. Now that’s what I call music!

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


Tagged as: arena rock | ireland | kopek
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Kopek - "Love Is Dead"
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