I’m listening and writing with a previous review of Kopper’s debut EP up for reference. “This debut release shows the start of a band still looking to pick best direction… but we’re just six months in and these things need to breathe, we’re still in the shaping and smelting.” That was back in July of 2019, and to use a less poetic parlance, Kopper have located their balls.
Their recently released double A-side of ‘Fake It’ and ‘How Can You Be Sure?’ is a hard driven mass of exuberance. Drums smack with the sound of a confident aggression. Guitars are torn, given girth and laid into. Bass runs fit neat and slink through their rumble and the vocals are the punk side of princely; words can be spat out, half spoken half yelled, or carelessly kicked out the larynx. The smelting is over – good work!
‘Fake It’ breaks and crunches, and in turn scrawls and sputters, even chants its way through its tight structures. It’s as restless and scratchy as anything IDLES and Girl Band produce, with a wry hit of Art Brut and Slumb Party. Energy, check. Confidence, check. Raucous self-righteous of brat garage punk, energy that translates from sweat stained gig to single… check. By the end of the track, from its stop-start beginnings, we’re a mess of the best of punk’s fluids. There’s spittle and heat and the feel of a band bent on venting.
‘How Can You Be Sure?’ carries on in the same streak of feedback and blister. I’m not sure which track I like more. But it’s no straight up copy or B-Side; the start is more focused, the drop downs more tilted towards anthemic grunge, and the breaks between vocals more scrawling. In those breakdowns there’s even a nod (dare I say it) to a Sisters Of Mercy aesthetic, even if just the briefest of touches. It’s the hint of the ‘Marian’ vocals and walls of guitar that build up a thick wailing texture, then a slam to the verse with a throat fronted holler and we’re back to the burn of a verse.
I feel almost parental having heard Kopper grow, more please and keep pumping those guts.