Album Review: Bad Cop/Bad Cop – Warriors

by Oliver Brink on June 13, 2017

“We will not back down, we must refuse to stay silent!”

Probably one of the best things to happen from Donald Trump becoming the—and I shudder as I type this—President is the anticipation of all the amazing politically-charged punk rock that will invariably come back into the public consciousness. This is not to say that it wasn’t always there—it was and always will be—but humanity is a fickle species and without something to kick its ass into gear occasionally, it relegates the plaintive cries of the marginalized into the background. That’s where punk rock comes in to kick everyone in the face and scream “LISTEN UP!”

Bad Cop/Bad Cop—clever name intact—had a rough time following the 2014 release of their debut LP Not Sorry. By most accounts, 2015’s touring life had the Fat Wreck Chords band confronting some pretty rough truths of life on the road in the national punk rock scene. Following a number of destructive situations on the 25 Years of Fat Wreck Tour and after a band—and label—intervention, lead vocalist Stacey Dee found herself detoxed and ready to attack life head-on resulting in the very cathartic nature of what is now one of the first punk records to tackle the issues of living in a post-Trump-elected world.

The greatest strength in Warriors probably lies in the sheer exuberance and heartfelt intent evident in the lyrics, whether it is the call to making the entire world feminist and humanist in “Womanarchist” or the contemplations of the people left behind following a suicide in “Victoria”. Musically, the band relies on creative harmonies—another of their strengths—both vocally and instrumentally. This shows most clearly on the opening track “Retrograde” and even further on “Amputations”—a Jennie Cotterill tune echoing Joan Jett—as both of these tracks emphasize a forward motion away from toxins and toxic people alike. “Womanarchist” is a feminist anthem daring the listener to take a stand and calling for modern day heroes to echo those from the past.

One of the only real hiccups is the annoyingly radio-friendly sounding “Broken” which—though heartfelt and likely cathartic for Dee—comes off tired and clichéd. While a certain amount of “pop” production has always managed to creep it’s way into even the best of the various punk generation, the song lacks the subversion that makes such production work and instead turns it into a throwaway song. Luckily it is immediately followed by “Wild Me” with its feminist breakdown speech that demands action and the refusal to submit to a society that allows classism and misogyny to remain the status quo.

Like a good majority of the bands on Fat Wreck, the recording does have a rather polished sound, but that polish doesn’t distract from the issues at hand, or make it any less punk rock. One of my favorite things about Fat Wreck is that they refuse to approach the music industry the way the majors—and even a number of the indies—do and if they like the music enough, they put out the record.

To quote the Dead Kennedys, “Punk is no religious cult / Punk means thinking for yourself” then it is safe to say that Warriors embodies this ethos fully. I expect Bad Cop/Bad Cop will be making quite a splash in the coming years.

The album drops June 16, 2017.

Edit Note: Original post falsely credited Stacey Dee as principle songwriter for “Amputations.”

Oliver Brink

Oliver is a lover of film, music, theatre, and art. He writes and works out of Los Angeles.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Chris Brown July 3, 2017 at 8:22 am

Amputations is not a Dee song and it’s not about drug abuse, but it does sound like Joan Jett. It’s clearly Jenny singing. Track seven IS a Dee song and it is about drug abuse.

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