After a multitude of personal battles, Bad Cop/Bad Cop have returned with third record, ‘The Ride’. Biting and optimistic, the record sees the quartet navigate their own trail whilst tightening their blend of jagged guitars and harmonious hooks.
Opening with surf style guitars and lead vocalist Stacey Dee‘s grit inflected performance, ‘Originators’ takes a more restrained route than expected. Putting emphasis on the lyrical content and throwing a curveball in from the get go, ‘The Ride’ looks to not adhere strictly to punk rock’s rulebook.
Whilst it would be easy for Bad Cop/Bad Cop to rely on the triple vocal melodies of guitarists Dee, Jennie Cotterill, and bassist Linh Le, with an armful of lyrics citing political unrest and a breakneck pace to form the foundation of their third full-length, ‘The Ride’ opts to take a different route.
Instead, lyrically, ‘The Ride’ looks at community, survival, support, and solutions to create a record that adds a layer of humility to the razor sharp guitars, triple harmonies, and pounding drums. Granted, ‘Certain Kind Of Monster’ and ‘Pursuit Of Liberty’ both touch upon America’s detention polices and their xenophobia, and give a sharp opinion on the topic, with the former’s coda of “Don’t call people illegal, when they’ve done nothing wrong” resonating long after the record’s conclusion.
As the album reaches its mid-point, highlights ‘Simple Girl’ and ‘Breastless’ show an honest delivery from Dee. The former is infectious and defiant, and the same attitude and stark honesty is shown on the latter, a song that bravely tackles Dee‘s battle with breast cancer.
With ‘Community’ and ‘I Choose’ focusing on community (obviously) and the lack of judgement respectively, the record ultimately looks to forge its own answers instead of simply asking questions, as many punk records do. That’s not to say that ‘The Ride’ has all of the answers, but it does provide a fresh perspective on a genre that can easily fall into self-parody or become redundant in the wrong hands.
Closing with ‘Sing With Me’, Bad Cop/Bad Cop arguably have created one of their most important tracks of their career. Simple in its delivery but potent in its content, the record ends on an optimistic note, one of acceptance for all.
Once again building on their blueprint, Bad Cop/Bad Cop have created a turning point with ‘The Ride’, one that hopefully makes their peers take note.