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!