Saturday, February 11, 2006

Copout - s/t

Copout s/t 7" (Team Murder USA, 1993)

Within hours of the Yah Mos's arrival home from their first US tour, Sacramento was covered with Copout stickers. The young lads had played with Copout in Memphis and returned as Copout misionaries. A few months later, Copout came to town and played a house show with the Yah Mos and Audios Gringos. After a very heavy set by Audios Gringos, the Yah Mos came on and burned through a half hour. Then it was Copout's turn. Big amps and big guys and within 60 seconds, Copout had destroyed the Yah Mos, something that never ever happened. Usually it was the Yah Mos killing all the bands they played with, but not that night. Thirty minutes of bludgeoning hardcore punk later and I was ready to join the Copout cult (and I am not a hardcore diehard).

There are hardcore purists who shine Copout. "It's no His Hero is Gone (the band that followed Copout)," they say. To which I reply, "Yes and I am glad." I love the straight ahead, relentless pounding of Copout. It is loud, angry, no frills, barebones hardcore punk rock, with enough Greg Ginnisms to set it apart from their peers.

Here are four cuts from Copout's 1993 debut 7". I love all these songs, but I would put Chained in my top 50 hardcore punk songs. This record was followed by a split 7" and then the band was no more. ---Scott S.

I put Cop Out on in Toronto circa '94, and their set was maybe twelve unrelenting minutes, just completely out of control manic hardcore without pause until they were on the floor panting, feedback screeching and no encores necessary. One of the best sets ever, by anyone, although I didn't keep the records and couldn't tell you a song title.

At the risk of sounding pedantic, I'm curious at what "hardcore purist" would prefer HHIG's tepid sludge metal for Cop Out's definitively purist hardcore, but they thankfully gave that up soon enough for their current outfit Tragedy, who play superb "modern hardcore" that even this unreconstructed '77/'82 fanatic has to bow to. It's much heavier than I usually like, and the gutteral vocals have never been my cup of tea, but the fact that anyone's managed to balance the heavier and more melodic modern influence with the spirit and energy of the best early hardcore in the 21st century is admirable (even if it's largely a reimagining of established Norwegian and Japanese templates).
Cop Out had their own thing going on.
Didn't matter how long they played cuz they got the message DOWN YOUR THROAT real quick.
Awesome fucking band and better than all the bands they turned into, etc.
Great fucking post, guys!
Simon - The purists I refered to seemed to be pretty vocal around the time HHIG were making a go. Couldnt mention Copout without hearing how HHIG is much better because they are much more "musical," as if "musical" (or what is implied by the term) ever really mattered in punk rock (or did any good when applied to it, ie math rock, prog punk, etc.).

I get your point that these folks arent purists in any true sense of the word (and I cringe at the notion of puritism, too). Perhaps a better phrase would be hardcore party members.

It is silly to quibble. Just let it be noted that HHIG wont be making an appearance on Static Party. Thanks for writing. --SS
a relevant aside that becomes particularly apropos when I note that he posted before in the comments box of your previous entry...speaking of musical borders in Memphis punk, I remember Eric Oblivian telling me via email many moons ago that HHIG were his favourite band in Memphis, but that he was sure they would never deign to play with a garage band, so the worlds never did collide. Talking to Todd of Cop Out several years later, in summer 2004, when he was on tour in War Cry and we were talking about bands we'd seen most in our lives-- he said the Oblivians, who were his favourite Memphis band but they'd never played together, because surely a garage band would never want to share a stage with the likes of HHIG. Sad how these arbitrary genre identity assumptions work out.
One of the great things about Sacramento was that the lines were drawn more over who wanted to become a cog in the music industry and who didnt, not over genre. It made for a very rich scene and lots of great shows. --SS
Any plans on posting the Copout side of their split 7"?
i know there was a response above, but if its any consolation ive never known anyone to say they liked HHIG over copout either...unless they were too young for copout when the band was around. its kind of a shame the former will be shuffled under the latter in the history books. you should post the yahmos cover "did you"...
anon 1: no plans. we have about a hundred records stacked up and more in boxes, so i doubt we will repeat a band any time soon.

anon 2: I dont know about "too young." it is not like there was a big gap of time between Copout and HHIG. But if you mean, "missed out on" than I would certainly agree. As great as the 7" is, live Copout were sooooo much better. Unless you saw them you dont know what you missed...Not to be a nitpicker, but it was the Pope Smashers who covered Did You, not the Yah Mos. The only cover the Yah Mos ever recorded was a version of My Rules by Void, which was supposed to appear on an aborted Yah Mos/Phlemings split on Moo-La-La. --SS
no there wasnt a big gap between bands, but there was a 3-4 year gap between copout ending and the peak popularity of hhig which is why i mentioned maybe kids being too young when that 7" came out. plus it went oop almost immediately since it was on everyones damn top ten list, loosely tied to the slap a ham crowd....then they disappeared...instant folklore.

sorry i realized afterwards that was the popesmashers not yahmos. still a good cover. still confused that the split never came out since the yahmos stuff rules hard. damn nitpicker.
i'm pretty sure i woulda said my favorite memphis band was copout... i didn't hear his hero is gone until after they'd taken off on their 2 year tour...

todd from copout got up and sang a pagans song with the oblivians! and oblivians played with copout (and pezz!) there's a video somewhere...

so the lines weren't really that strong back then... there was so little going on that you'd go see anything. anything not part of the hardline movement, at least...

copout were great. great records, amazing live blammo.
in the mid '90s i was on a small tour with hot water music and assuck, and we drove up to atlanta for some terrible hardcore "fest" that featured as bright spots christie front drive and action patrol, and as low spots a hundred zillion bands made totally redundant by assuck. i owned a small record shop at the time that specialized in punk/hardcore/indie/etc., and one of the bands i had heard through that, and that i was really looking forward to, was copout.

at some point, though, rendered haggard and grumpy by all the shitty sound-a-likes, i repaired to the hwm van for a break and to suck on a bottle of evan williams i had stashed away, hoping it would kill the pain (i had beat up a giant skinhead in the street at a party a few nights before and had an open, infected, weeping roadrash on my knee, which didn't help). anyway, i was kicking back and had the van's side door open for air, drinking and wondering if i was going to survive this nightmare, when people started gathering around and staring at me.

eventually, one or two of the guys from copout made their way through the small crowd that was assembling. they had pipes and pieces of rebar and shit and were slapping them in their hands, clearly intending to do me harm, or at least menace me into thinking so. i was confused.

i closed the van door and started rooting around for a weapon of my own, and came across the huge rubber double-headed dildo that somehow was sent on tour with lots of gainesville bands of that era. this thing was a couple of feet long and thicker than my wrist, and seriously weighed about six pounds. i figured it'd do.

i threw open the door and jumped out, swinging that thing around like nunchucks. the tensed-up crowd, perhaps thirsty for my blood, started laughing. the copout guys looked a little embarassed. the small crowd dispersed and people sort of wandered off while i danced around like bruce lee with that fuckin' dildo.

later i found out they meant to beat me up because wollard from hwm had a license plate on the van that said something about jack daniels and southern rock 'n' roll, and was festooned with a small rebel flag. whatever.

good band, though, that copout.
Memphis punk... ahhh thanks for the post. Any chance of a 'Taintskins appearance on here (or anywhere). Pre-dating Copout by some years and not at all a hardcore band, but my favorite.
copout are one of my favorite bands of all time, and we even better live than on record. it's odd that they get the "pre-HHIG" tag when todd wasn't even in the band till the last line-up. oh well. if anyone has the demo (not the 'more dead than alive' tape) please let me know, thanks!
I really miss that 7".... I don't know where mine got lost, if ANYONE sees a post of that shit let me know PLEASE!!!
i had heard about this band via eBay actually, then decided to try to hunt it down on soulseek. wow, totally worth it, this is some great stuff. what did they do other than this 7" someone mentioned a split, who was it with? i'd say i like it more than HHIG, but i prefer more stripped down hardcore to more complex music.
I have the "More Dead Than Alive" tape that I've kept ever since stealing it from Nick while living with him in the basement at 26th & I - email me at neuikc at gmail dot com.
i was in a band that played the above mentioned fest, and i must say, one of the only things i remember about it is that man swinging around that dildo.
i saw copout in 94 and his hero is gone in jan 96 (same show as the first time seeing locust before uniforms)...good times
the copout demo is wunnerful and i wish i had it digitized
Are there lyrics posted anywhere?
copout toured with adios gringo who had a rebel flag on their tape i bought from them at the show
oh god. i remember the rebel flag controversy. mainly between todd and bryan v, who is now in lucero but did a zine at the time that was all about the south and such. it was pretty boring. i really can't see anyone in copout having pipes and shit wanting to beat anyone up. i was in the band and knew/know all those guys very very well and not one would actually do much more than talk trash. well if lee was messed up and mad enough he might have. oh well.

talking about lines being drawn, i remember once i had booked fifteen to play in memphis on the same date that todd booked dead and gone. i wanted to combine the shows to not split the crowds. todd was against it because fifteen was pop and dead and gone were hardcore. anyway. the show was combined and the west coast guys loved being able to play together.
hell, i left copout cause i wasn't hardcore enough and liked too many pop punk bands. hahahahaha. talk about lines.
Ha. I was at that fifteen and dead and gone show. At Barrister's I think. Great show.
Oh, and COPOUT. Everybody loved them in Memphis. EVERYbody came out for COPOUT shows.
and for the record todd from his hero is gone was in copout for about a minute near the end. no one else was in hhig and it always pisses me off when people say hhig was somehow related to copout. matt william and lee WERE copout.
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