Music » Critics' Picks

The Cops

9 p.m. Saturday, April 19. The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street

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The Cops' sophomore effort Free Electricity accomplishes an interesting feat: It manages to deliver a brutal package of abrasive, dirty rock & roll — think the energy of the Hives crossed with a hint of Mudhoney's sloppy dissonance — but also contains subtly danceable elements. Shakers, tambourine and propulsive beats accent growling bass lines and searing guitars on songs such as "Them Cats" and "Light It Off," calling to mind the Clash's more groove-oriented moments. But what really makes the Seattle quintet stand out is its ability to write songs that sound urgent and politically charged — without pointing fingers or letting listeners off the hook.

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