Review: Bad Cop/Bad Cop – Warriors

As far-right politics and extremism dominate headlines and political agendas, Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s inclusive, melodic punk-rock is much-needed. With women’s basic rights at risk and punk lacking diverse representation, sophomore album ‘Warriors’ is a fierce fightback – bringing snarling melodies, crunchy guitars and intelligent ideas to battle.

Vocalist Stacey Dee’s own demons are tackled in ‘Retrograde’, a biting yet optimistic anthem for addiction recovery. The singalong chorus reveals Dee’s resilience (“Stronger each day, making my way, out of retrograde”) and the band’s collective support is clear when co-vocalist Jennie Cotterill and bassist Lihn Le emphasise “But now she’s standing tall”.

Prickly ‘I’m Done’ is a feminist call-to-arms that denounces subtle gender-related microaggressions. The chugging bass and Myra Gallarza’s rapid drumming bolster gang vocals of “Equality – we want it now!”, while a raspy “I’m done!” concludes the short-not-sweet track.

Dee’s scratchy vocals obliterate divisive ideologies, rejecting “alt-left liberalists”, “religious lunatics” and “alt-right separatists” in powerful track ‘Womanarchist’. Criticising a “fascist President”, it pledges allegiance to equality and liberty, defining the end-goal as global co-existence.

A touching, matter-of-fact tribute, ‘Victoria’ attacks romanticisation of suicide/mental illness: “There’s no glory in dysphoria, Victoria”. Its uncomfortably-infectious melody helps the band easily confront a difficult topic, as does the venomous ‘Kids’. Here, stellar screams, distorted guitars and sassy insults (“irrelevant inebriate”, “piss artist”) ridicule a perpetrator of domestic abuse.

The band land a one-two punch with ‘Broken’ and ‘Wild Me’. The former holds ‘Warriors’ best chorus, vocal harmonies imbuing emotional intensity to Dee’s self-sabotage. ‘Wild Me’ rips up gender stereotypes, sans sugarcoating – “Nice girls are as good as dead”, and its spoken word segment references Audre Lorde and advocates revolutionary action.

Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s ‘Warriors’ is a high-class, high-speed punk protest made for 2017. Grappling with sexism, mental health and abuse, it condemns society’s wilful ignorance in under thirty minutes. With the quartet branding themselves “punk rock existentialist[s]”, their outspokenness is just what punk needs right now.

4/5

‘Warriors’ by Bad Cop/Bad Cop is released on 16th June on Fat Wreck Chords.

Bad Cop/Bad Cop links: Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Bandcamp

Words by Clare O’Shea (@Clare_OShea)

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