Let’s be honest, with political and social strife on both sides of the Atlantic, we’re living through tough times. It has been said that difficult periods can spur on creativity, one that gives a voice to represent the masses. One of those bands to be inspired by our current socio-political climate is London hardcore punks COPE (Challenge Oppression Pursue Equality).
Formed just two years ago, the quintet will be releasing their second EP, ‘Tooth & Nail’, this Friday. Beyond its heavy riffs and meaty rhythm section is a set of songs that have an angst-fuelled message. Over the course of its six songs, COPE cover the “alt-right”, the lack of true political change, young representation, and the Syrian conflict. Nevertheless, as guitarist Joshua Bowles explains in this “Track Guide”, all hope is not lost.
This one’s fairly straight-forward with regards to lyrical content. It’s inspired by, and about the conflict currently going on in Syria. I’ve been following it since it started back in 2011, and I’ve been disgusted by both sides’ actions. I’m an avid reader, and I’ve actually read a diary written by a guy who lived under IS in Raqqa and managed to escape, and I was truly moved, shocked and ashamed by what I read. So when we say the line “our shame grows for those we forgot”, I’m really just trying to apologise almost to those who either didn’t make it out, or are still there.
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Tooth & Nail
‘Tooth & Nail’ is basically our anthem. It’s our battle cry, and almost our promise to everyone that this is real, we truly believe in our message and we’re not going anywhere. I’d had a bad day like we all do from time to time, and usually, when that happens the only thing to pull me out of that funk is to write about it. So this is me basically saying “fuck you, we’re here to stay”. I do hope that it helps others who’re having a bad day too!
This is pretty self-explanatory, but in essence, this is a big fuck you to the “alt-right”, or, as I like to call them, NAZIS. Anyone who knows anything about our band will know that we’re very liberal, and we don’t stand for any hate or prejudice, no matter your political beliefs. The inspiration behind it was the election of Trump, and the fact that he didn’t initially denounce support from white nationalists. There’s the line in the pre-chorus, “through silence, you become complicit” and I really live by that. If you don’t speak up when you see something you feel is wrong on a moral level, then you’re perpetuating said problem by allowing it to go on unchallenged.
‘Many Faces’ is about the political landscape in England, and how nothing seems to change even when we elect a new leader. I think most people in this country have felt the political frustration as of late, and I think there are a lot of unanswered questions.
Again, the idea that you’re complicit in something if you remain silent on the issue comes up here. We say they’re all to blame because no one’s tried to address the issues we’re facing. They’re guilty by association, right or wrong that may be.
Again, this is one about English politics, and the socio-economic issues young people are currently facing. This was inspired by the election of that power-grabbing, privatisation-loving, saggy-faced Maggie 2.0. At the time, she was espousing a ‘populist’ message, and I just got really irked when she tried to speak on our behalf. The chorus explains that most of these people are set in their ways, and don’t want to change. Therefore we need to be the change that we want to happen and ensure we change the country for the better.
The Great Divide
This has probably my favourite chorus of the whole EP! This is a track that’s looking ahead, a kind of “what if?” Whereas the chorus is almost retrospective to the rest of the song.
What we’re saying here is that we’re in a sort of ‘limbo’ situation, where no ones really certain of what’s going to happen. We want people to know that they’re not alone and that there are like-minded people out there. We also wanted to try and end the EP on a semi-positive note, and leave people feeling that although things are looking bleak, not all hope is lost, and there is some good in the world.
‘Tooth & Nail’ EP by COPE is released on 13th October.