The All Cop Band Hot Chase 45 (ACBP, 1983)
Mention the phrase “cop band” and most people flash to the punk rock episode of CHiPs, where Ponch and Jon defeat the evil punk band, Pain. Pain hate other bands, especially Snow Pink, a lame new wave-lite band fronted by a wavo named Snow Pink. Pain is so full of hate for the wavos that they rip off Snow Pink’s equipment. Ponch and Jon try to track the punks down and are just about to get them when one of the members of Pain throws Snow Pink’s bass into a car, causing a wreck. As the Chippies attend to the crashed car, Pain escapes on their motorcycles. Pain later shows up at the Battle of the Bands where they are supposed to play. While Snow Pink does her thing for the crowd, Pain trashes the bathrooms, harasses the wavos, and pull a knife on the club owner. After locking everyone in the building, Pain takes the stage, where they perform their classic, Pain. “I dig pain/A feeling in my brain,” the singer, Trasher, snarls. The punks start to slam dance and Snow Pink figures out the guitar Pain is using is hers. Meanwhile, Jon crawls through a window and frees the club owner, who Pain had tied up. Pain start a riot and then take off. Or at least try to. Ponch is there to keep Trasher from fleeing. The punker threatens to blow him and Ponch up by tossing his lighter into some gas. Ponch blows the lighter’s flame out and saves the day. Ponch rewards all the good punkers and wavos by getting up on stage to sing Celebration. The punks pogo happily.
The All Cop Band don’t cover Celebration and I doubt they ever had punks pogo to their music. However, like Ponch, they “should” have kept to playing private parties, leaving the public deaf to their talents. But instead they follow the advise of their fellow officers of the law and cut a record.
From Albany, California, the All Cop Band is a trio of cops from the Albany Police and the Contra Costa Sheriffs Departments. They play 50s & 60s rock and 70s country covers AND they play cop songs.
As you probably guessed, cop songs are songs about being a cop. On this record, the All Cop Band play two cop songs: Hot Chase and A Cops Life. Hot Chase is about a hot car chase that starts out with the perp peeling out past the singing cop, yelling “Filthy pig,” middle finger extended. The cop chases the perp, fantasizing about “breaking” the perp’s head. The bassist does a solo that he must have learned playing along to the song Popcorn. An anemic harmonica break follows. The cop finally pulls the perp over and, surprise, the perp is the chief of police! The song, which sounds like a bad mix of country music and disco, is punctuated by police sirens and ends with a police radio sputtering and chirping.
The flip side is a miserable country tear jerker about how it is to be a cop’s wife.
The All Cop Band sucks. However there are two things that make this record a keeper. One reason is that the song Hot Chase sucks enough to be funny but not so much as to be unlistenable. The second reason is that this is a cop band singing about being a cop.
I am not a big fan of cops, but I love cop band records. They are totally grassroots. Bands make cop band records for one reason, because they are truly into what they are doing. As much as it might make punkers cringe, nowadays cop bands are much more DIY than what passes as punk. Listen to the All Cop Band and you know that they will never be as big as Blink 182 or even the Bananas. But they do what they do cuz they love what they do and you got to give them something for that.
And even if you don’t want to admit that the All Cop Band are "for real," they do make it possible for you to laugh at cops in the safety of your own home.
Okay, maybe not.