Fake Cops Thundertheft

Two years after the release of their intriguing debut EP, Absolutely Your Credit Is Excellent but in a Certain Way We Need Cash, Calgary four-piece Fake Cops are finally back with the far more concisely titled Thundertheft. Setting aside their hockey rivalries and signing with Edmonton imprint Reluctant Recordings, the Cops have fleshed out the production values on this 15-minute, seven-song EP to create a fuller, punchier attack that is sure to get heads bobbing. With their skittish, piercing guitars, aggressively off-kilter time signatures and yelping vocals, the influence of Down-era Jesus Lizard is so obvious it barely warrants mention — but where David Yow and company were far too given to disappearing up their own asses for extended periods, the Fake Cops are here to rock and stay admirably on message. The lead track "Better Call A Priest” kicks things off with some urgent snare pops and a stilted bass line that is quickly devoured in a cloud of guitar stings, setting the tone for standout tracks like the frenzied Kepone-esque spazz-out "Muthafuckindeadindanight” and "Scimitar Fight” which, as indicated by the prevalence of handclaps, may be the closest this group gets to conventional dance floor rock. Laid end to end, the song structures lack variety for such a brief disc, but taken individually, these are some pretty damn sharp tunes. (Reluctant)