‘Dumbbo’ is the latest single from Belfast trio, Hot Cops. Named after a running gag in Arrested Development, they have toured with Galway’s Oh Boland, and if you’re familiar with the latter, then you will find plenty to like here.
Hot Cops display an obvious debt to ‘90s Californian slacker kings, Pavement. The overdriven bass and languid guitar chimes are simultaneously rock and anti-rock. ‘Dumbbo’ builds gradually, each verse tightens the screw, the tension and the pitch increasing until the climactic release of the final movement.
The video reflects the lo-fi 90s roots of Hot Cops. It’s a no-budget single camera job, with surreal situations and juxtapositions. There’s a dada-esque quality to it and director Elise Schierbeek evidently knows her audience. Dumbbo would have fit on No Disco perfectly.
Schierbeek filmed the video in West Michigan; “The video was shot in partly in the back 40 acres of a church far out in the hills with this abandoned merry-go-round, and also at a house lived in by many artist and musician friends of mine.”
It’s the debut video from the band but they are no studio virgins. Since forming in 2013, Carl Eccles (guitar and vocals), Conor Ellison (Drums) and Nathan Rodgers (bass and backing vocals) have released two EPs, 2014’s Another Teen Age and last years #1 Babes.
‘Dumbbo’ is their second single for Paper Trail Records, following on from ‘Passive Passive’ which cane out earlier this year. The production is clear and flawless, unusually for this type of music, and Hot Cops look like they are realising their earlier potential. ‘Dumbbo’ is one of the better singles I’ve heard this year.