Harvest the Beast – Bad Cop

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This wigged-out, cleverly-named Nashville trio (Adam Moult-vocals/Alex Hartness-guitar/Khari Merkley-drums) must have been on some kind of collective bender when they recorded this zinger of an album, because they got some kind of “lightning in a bottle” shit going on here the likes of which you don’t roll into all that often.

It’s a soulful, greasy, howlin’ whiteboy kind of rant-rock that’s even greater than the sum of all its crazy parts, a frantic, no-holds-barred, “fuck the rules” kind of album that we desperately need right now. It falls clumsily somewhere between the cracks of their distant cousins from Michigan, Mule, and their inbred cousins from Georgia, The Black Lips, but they don’t actually sound like either. And they pilfer and recycle a lot of what’s in between those two quite effectively, so that confuses the matter even further.

The first song, “Amorres Perros,” marches in, a little awkwardly, slaps you upside the head with a Big Dipper-esque hook, punches you in the kisser with a freak-fried free-for-all, and delivers the immortal line, “You can’t love someone who doesn’t love himself.” It’s not something you can lay a direct comparison onto, and as you scratch your head trying to figure which of a dozen other bands they sound like they’re done and on to the next one.

“Daylight” is serious, edgy psychedelic Aussie/NZ rock with a swell heavy break and a big noisy hook. “Big City, Small Town” is the Black Lips all revved-up on bennies with nowhere else to go but the “underground.” They pretty much tear every song apart, insofar as they need to be torn, while maintaining a solid sense of control and precision in the breaks and twists in their sound. No two songs sound like they come from exactly the same locale in their collective psyche, suggesting that the well they’re drawing from is deep. And most of the moves work out very well; there isn’t a bad song on the album.

In fact, everything hits the mark pretty darn close to the dead center. It almost does a disservice to a band like this to review their record at all, because there’s no way to describe the organic affect it will have on each individual listener. It’s an existential conundrum. Let’s just say that what we have here is one of the albums of the year, mos def, and leave it at that.