Seemingly named for a song by the themselves questionably named American emos Teen Suicide, Cop Graveyard is the song writing vehicle of Eliot Humphreys, whose adventures in lo-fi alienation have so far led to almost a dozen assorted EPs and releases.
His DIY punk / indie rock hybrid is charitably a sound that you will have heard before, but with guitar music not in the best of places in late 2017, it’s nice to see it can still throw up a few interesting characters.
Humphreys has described Are You Happy You’re Here? as being centred around place, isolation and not knowing if you can relate to or love other human beings in the way is humanistically acceptable and this sense of alienation and wildly yo-yoing expectations fills ‘Put Yr Hope in Me’ and ‘Desperate Wimp’ with a sense of vivid character that transcends the scruffy, scrappy recordings.
Written around a visit to the east coast of the USA to play some shows in Boston, Philadelphia, New Paltz and Brooklyn, ‘Intro’ is a scratchy flailing indie rock instrumental, while ‘Put Yr Hope in Me (Don’t)’ is a needlessly clumsy and affected title on a track that’s actually a bit of a blast – taking a whistle stop of bad dates and dark nights like Car Seat Headrest doing some serious soul searching – and packing a killer guitar solo.
‘Desperate Wimp’ is deftly deprecating and flies along at vast speed until it drops away to deliver a bridge with the simplest two chord sequence possible while ‘Dog / Cyclist’ packs a moody hook and a slacker rock kick reminiscent of Glasgow faves Pinact.
It’s not a revolutionary record but it’s a personal one and one that suggests there are a few pages left to be coloured in in a genre that’s running a little short on primary colours.
Words: Max Sefton