underscores’ “Cops and Robbers” Is a Melting Pot of HyperPop Mastery

Hyperpop’s creative mastermind underscores has released their second single of 2023, “Cops and Robbers,” and it’s as gloriously maddening as ever. 

A muted bass guitar plucks a grungy intro, teasing a relaxed vibe before the impending thrill of chaos ensues. The guitar is matched with a distorted synth and industrial drums, creating an intersection between melodic sweetness and violent noise that ends up achingly cathartic. It feels like something I’d hope to write in a press-all-the-buttons, turn-up-the-distortion frenzied craze, yet underscores does it with refined, meticulous intent. 

Their vocals come in and add a whole other level of texture to “Cops and Robbers.” The melody itself is inherently 2000s, built for the action montage at the peak of a coming-of-age movie. underscores colors their vocals with an electronic double, sharpening the sound to a delicious hyperpop point. This subtle touch allows the vocals to meld into the arrangement, taking on a bit of an instrumental role as well as a lead melodic one. underscores orchestrates the layers of this track to act as one beating heart of glitch-pop, alt-rock energy. 

The bridge is a standout section of “Cops and Robbers,” acting as a momentary breather as it switches into a buzzing solo synth riff that sets the new pace. The drums settle into a half-time routine under the synth countermelody, and underscores sweetens up the vocal delivery to fit the recline. But, they slowly add harmonies as the section grows, building up chaos in the background as ambient yelling joins the choir. 

“Cops and Robbers” is a melting pot of sounds, invoking Radiohead’s madness, early 2000s pop melodies, and modern hyperpop production. underscores is paving a lane in the music industry that is entirely their own, uninhibited by any genre boundaries or pop charades, making them truly, one to watch. 

Watch the "Cops & Robbers" video below:

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