Ex Cops, a Brooklyn, New York band featuring Brian Harding of Hymns and Amalie Bruun of Minks, released their debut album, True Hallucinations, on January 22 this year. Having had the fortune to listen to the CD, I can recommend it to fans of lighter rock and pop music.
True Hallucinations opens on the catchy drum beat and thrumming bass of the intro track, “S&HSXX,” and takes off from there. Harding’s and Bruun’s soft, airy vocals weave entrancing patterns through Kai Kennedy’s enveloping guitars and Leif Young Huckman’s bass beats. Underneath it all, Sam Bair’s drum lines stitch everything together, producing an upbeat tone on just about every track.
This sort of music isn’t my usual cup of tea, but I enjoyed listening through the entirety of the album, which was evocative of but not copying artists such as Dark Captain Light Captain (the only band I know of to feature a flugelhorn player) or The Ruse. Harding and Bruun are superb songwriters, as I found myself tapping my foot along to the beat of songs like “You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb” and humming to the vibrant verses and catchy choruses of fun tracks such as “Ken,” “James,” and the fast-paced “Billy Presley.”
One of the few criticisms I can make about True Hallucinations is that the songs tend to blend together after a while, all sounding similar to each other. That being said, I still liked the CD, surprising myself a bit. I recommend that anyone into this sort of tune—and, judging by my experience, even those who aren’t—definitely give Ex Cops a listen. You won’t be disappointed. I’ll be watching in the years to come to see where this band’s career leads them. I wouldn’t be shocked to find big things in their future.