It may be winter in New York but this Brooklyn quintet has captured summer in their debut album. Not just the stereotypical happy summer days, but the long hot nights, the heartbreaks, the mistakes, the real summer. True Hallucinations is mellow and a little sad – in a nostalgic way- but the chorus’s open up with powerful energy. If you were going to pigeonhole Ex Cops you could say they’re an easy going Jebediah or you could draw flattering similarities with The Shins. The chords are simple, the drums are punchy and the melodies catchy, so at first it seems like standard indie-pop. This is because it’s not an in your face album. It just swirls around the back of your head then penetrates your psyche until you’re humming along. You could play this as background music to a sunny afternoon, cold beers situation but you could also seek it out deep into a Melbourne winter to warm you up. James, You Are A Lion, I Am A Lamb and Spring Break are all radio worthy; they’re short, sweet and weightless until anchored by sentimental guitar lines. The reverb used throughout the album creates a smooth transition from song to song and contributes to the warm atmosphere. The album takes its foot off the pedal towards the end for a couple of ballads and never really picks up the momentum again. Despite that it’s a brilliant debut, as bands often sticky tape their best material together for their first release, but this is a cohesive, conceptual album.
BY SCOTT GARY WILLIAMS
Best Track: James
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
In A Word: Nostalgic