Music

Kopek: White Collar Lies

This is not a good record.


Kopek

White Collar Lies

Label: Religion
US Release Date: 2010-06-29
UK Release Date: Import
Amazon
iTunes

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!

3

Director Spotlight: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock helped to create the modern horror genre, the modern thriller, and the modern black comedy. He changed film, even as he was inventing new ways to approach it. Stay tuned through October as we present our collection of essays on the Master of Suspense.

Film

'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential. It has been a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

Francesc Quilis
Film

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
Books
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.