We Are Alpha COp


Raleigh, NC

Vocals, Guitar / Corbie
Bass / Channing
Drums / Brian
Violin / Kari



Don't ask anyone in Alpha Cop what kind of music they play. They won't have an answer.

Brian J. Donohoe’s counterintuitive drumming is rich with jazz fusion flavors - electric Miles, he always says, is his jam. Violinist Kari Azure is a violin-maker and restorer by trade, though her four strings pass through an array of tone-mangling effects pedals and a cranked Fender amp that would make a noise-rock guitarist drool. Bassist Channing Azure’s multifaceted bass-work blurs the line between rhythm and melody. Steeped in crushingly heavy post-hardcore and spacious, though equally crushing post-rock. Guitarist Corbie Hill skews pensive and dense, his lyrics tending mournful and autobiographical.

But don't ask them what they do with that toolkit. They're not a metal band, though they're pretty heavy and loud for the indie scene; they're not a prog band, though they're too restless to follow the same song structure twice; they're not a post-rock band or a noise band, either, though there are instrumental passages and extended drones aplenty. While there are elements of all those things, they're mainly a group of musical explorers, creating art they find fascinating - and ruthlessly discarding or rewriting their own material if it starts to bore them.

If you wanna listen, they're happy to share. No pressure. 


Drop us a line.

We'd love to hear what you think.

For bookings, message us here or email us at

alphacopnc @

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Watching the clock's red light
up half the night
we all become the thing we loathe
it's okay
it's called growing up
settling down
settling in
bought out to buy in
bought out to buy in

In our crooked, wet homes
machines fail us
when there's no sand left in the hourglass
they betray us
they betray us

the creases collide
in your awkward trousers
the time is right
to mortgage the night
and make it ours

beast easter

Nausea-stricken sailor
holds the wound shut
but he is destined for port
with a toe tag
this one's for luck
the rest are for forgetting
knighted in that blighted fellowship
of hard-hearted orphans

(walking out
pretty much useless
empty room
paint peeling off the walls
i'm floored by my failure)

A desolate lost tide
forever seeks the shore

forever seems too long


I've seen the look in your eyes
when the feeling always turns to ice
and the waking world is broken
go back to sleep

We've been living hand-to-mouth
'cuz I let too many ghosts in the house
through the cracks in the wall
where the world gets in

No one comes over
the lawn's overgrown
this is just the devil I know
I've been seeing shapes
in the stormclouds
and corners of the house

Don't turn your back on the sea
don't turn your back on the plains
honey, my land is parched, parched
and my house is fallen down

Flat spot

Between the city and the sea
a flat spot
a place to fold the map
A path of least resistance
an unlocked door
facing the fields
A reservoir of tainted groundwater
born to die here
born to die here

Path of least resistance
If I had anything to say I would've said it by now

Hot Cars Keep Secrets

This is where it ends
chapter and verse
you win
take the handful of hate with you
as I die
and step into the bright sunshine

We took the same road long enough
to see it was a waste
long enough to fry our minds on the hot pavement
watching angels of the lord
in their dizzy choruses
crashing to the humid earth

I grew up east of the interstate
in the white sand and sawgrass
just a broken-axled pickup rusting in the salt air


I spent fifteen years alone
deep in the shade
my mind a locked cabin
all is brown with decay and time

If ever a path spoke to me
If ever a light shined to guide my feet
If ever there was a place I could belong
the nest has fallen from the tree

Who are you and what do you want?
All we want is the rain.
Smoke fills the air, who knows how far it's come?
But somewhere a forest burns.

low flags

They're lining up beyond the ridgeline
Hearts and bones like steel
Frozen in their hands

Prepare for what comes next
Memories of the free plains
Folded in our hands

See a vision of low brick buildings
All the birds die when the big mouth opens
See a vision of blank surrender
All the birds fly when the big mouth opens


A few lifetimes ago
a strong mind crept in silence
and rolled the stone
Well, it's okay with me, Lord
It's alright what they've done to
your chosen one
But, with no halo to hold
and none worth hanging on to,
we might be overcome


When we crossed the plains we burned them behind us
Termites of the last frontier
the long hangover of the Roman soldier
vultures congregate on the lawn

Don't destroy the world while I'm sleeping
I watch the planes go by
and take apart my sky
one piece at a time

Kiss the sand on the beach
while the ship sinks in the sea
take your time
do what you have to survive
and watch the rising tide
from the highest ground you can find

Having failed to save the world
we saved ourselves

point no point

The only one left
dragging a wolf on a chain across the plain
The only one left
dragging a wolf on a chain across the plain
And the trees sway, and the trees sway
holding court at the end of the day
and the trees sway, and the trees sway
holding court
I will lay down roots
I will lay down roots

Poverty branch

It feels so good to be wrong
to climb to the top of a dying pine
to celebrate your every failure
sleeping in a cold, cold trailer

Beneath the mountain's weary shoulders
resonating through the hollow
where this goes I cannot follow
drinking from that bitter bottle

I drove by the old place a few years back
nothing left but an empty lot
beneath the mountain's weak shoulders
in my heart, an empty spot

Raise your glass to the river in flood
drink it down and close your eyes


Along the spine of a broken world
solemn and dangerous. Climbing 'cuz it's there
gravity loves you, baby. The ground will always be there to catch you

Not like the eagle. Not a controlled fall
where thousands have tried
in these untested heights

same high
same blur of cloud and glory
same water in my veins
you came all this way. Nailed yourself to the roof of the world
Just to slide back down
wrapped in your nation's flag


Not if, but when you return
an alligator long turned to stone
a shallow sea, a ruined beach
a prehistoric monster parting reeds
you sure have swallowed a lot of sand
in your rage, rearrange the page, see red
and forget your lines and stalk the bars
like a hole in the world, like a hole in the world
not if, but when you return
to the sea to the sea to the lonely sea

so forgive me if I don't leap to my feet
welcoming you to the fold
my heart has been a motel before
but no more

check in check out check in check out


In the dry heat
tracking the dying beast
Listen: can you hear it?
At the last beat
tracked by human beasts
What kind of postmodern
hallucination is this?

The danger is real
I've never felt so weak
and defeated
But my kids gotta eat
even if it kills me
One of many paradoxes in these
ancient wilds

(The writer pauses,
leaves his characters
flies trapped in amber
frames of decaying film)
Waves break above
the blue of the sky
I hear they mate for life
all here is dead and dry

I wanna live
I wanna live right
seek the light before it shines
ivory cowboy gonna ride

Can you feel the size of the heart that is breaking?


Music/Lyrics by Alpha Cop

©2014 Alpha Cop, Raleigh, NC  USA