True Hallucinations - OTHER MUSIC
FILTER Grade: 83%
By Marty Sartini Garner on March 12, 2013
Trapped in rooms of expanding, jagged-nerve guitars, Ex Cops’ Brian Harding and Amalie Bruun stand with lips at the window’s crack and breathe in melody. Across True Hallucinations, Ex Cops’ full-length debut and their first release as a five-piece band, the co-vocalists generate tunefulness so effortlessly that it almost seems like a happy industrial byproduct of the flushed-out sound whorling away behind them. But the album’s true star is producer John Siket, who smothers the group in narcotic folds of compression; when the band build to bursting, as they do in lead single “James,” they sound as if they’re playing their way out of an old Zenith television set. Siket’s haze blunts the sugar-sharp edges of Harding and Bruun’s melodies, but it also ripens their latent nostalgia—and so, even as they emerge from the fog of their birth, Ex Cops move like a cortege at a lively clip, draped with the bunting that heralds their own eventual passing.