Deep Inside a Cop's Mind

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After suffering through an ill-conceived pornography trial centered on his misanthropic zine Answer Me, Jim Goad -- author of The Redneck Manifesto and other counterculture tomes -- moved to Portland, OR, to try and stir up trouble there. Goad soon hooked up with fellow travelers like Feral House publisher Adam Parfrey, industrial noisemaker Boyd Rice, and Thee Slayer Hippy (aka Steve Hanford) of hardcore heroes Poison Idea. S.W.A.T. is the product of the fertile imaginations of these underground icons, and Deep Inside a Cop's Mind is either the satirical "soundtrack to the new police state," as stated on the front cover, or a left-handed tribute to the boys in blue. Either way, the music, a mix of honky tonk-country and roots rock, is surprisingly good. Deep Inside a Cop's Mind opens with Ennio Morricone's classic "The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" theme, with sampled vocals from the original Dragnet television series thrown in to set the table. With instrumental backing from most of Poison Idea (they had broken up by 1994), Parfrey leads the band through a haunting version of "The Pusher," adding contemporary lyrics to Hoyt Axton's anti-drug song and making more of a statement than Steppenwolf ever did. Truck-driving, road-happy country tunes like Dave Dudley's "Coffee, Coffee, Coffee" and Red Simpson's "Highway Patrol" are played fairly straight, changed slightly to reflect a cop's perspective and delivered with a rockabilly fervor. The Portland crew reinvents Isaac Hayes' "Theme From Shaft" as "Them From S.W.A.T.," complete with sampled LAPD radio broadcasts from the April 1992 riots. The highlight of Deep Inside a Cop's Mind, however, is a melodramatic reading of "In the Ghetto" featuring Goad's engaging baritone, the Elvis Presley hit now set in Compton with gangbangers, a drug deal gone bad, and, of course, the noble police officer. "We Can See for Miles" builds upon Pete Townshend's original with punkish glee, while Shel Silverstein's "25 Minutes to Go" is a shambling roller-coaster ride toward a date with the executioner. Spoken-word interludes between songs are mini-morality plays with a law enforcement theme delivered by Goad and Parfrey and folks like Boyd Rice and the Church of Satan's Anton LaVey. Deep Inside a Cop's Mind closes with a strange, spooky version of John Barry's "Thunderball" theme, with LaVey's videographer, Nick Bougas, on vocals. A very strange cultural artifact that only the '90s might have produced, Deep Inside a Cop's Mind is unlike any album you've ever heard, but it's well-worth digging up for collectors of the arcane and the unusual.

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