Review: Bad Cop/Bad Cop – The Ride

Punk perfection

Californian punk band Bad Cop/ Bad Cop are back with their third studio album The Ride, released June 19 via Fat Wreck Chords. Following on from the empowering feminist rock of their first two records, The Ride revitalises modern punk music with a bold sense of humanity and community. The optimistic celebration of diversity is balanced by a sense of rage against the discriminatory nature of American politics, all bound together by brash guitars and heavy punk.

Taking a closer look at what the band have to say about each song, it’s as if the different themes woven throughout the album can be attributed to the specific member who wrote them. Jennie Cotterill’s ‘Take My Call’, ‘The Mirage’ and ‘Sing With Me’ are the most explicitly introspective on the record, taking a more philosophical approach than previous songs in their back catalogue. They are deep and empathetic; an analysis of life and how we live it. Most vitally, it speaks to the importance of music and its healing powers on the albums closer, ‘Sing With Me’. Perhaps not the track you would expect from a heavy punk band, but undoubtedly authentic.

Linh Le gives us the most political punk songs on The Ride with ‘Certain Kind of Monster’ and the previously released single ‘Pursuit of Liberty’. It’s these songs that push immigration to the forefront of The Ride, just as it stands at the forefront of so many national debates. As usual, these are deeply empathetic songs from Bad Cop/Bad Cop. Most importantly, Le sings about her own family’s experience as refugees, truly putting people before political debate.

Finally, Stacey Dee’s songs look at her own real-life experiences; most potently on ‘Breastless’, in which she sings about her diagnosis and recovery from breast cancer over the last few years. This was one of the tracks that Bad Cop/ Bad/Cop debuted on their tour earlier on in the year, and the recording is every bit as emotional as the live experience. ‘Simple Girl’ is another totally real narrative of self-love and how it intersects with romantic love.

The Ride is another flawless project from Bad Cop/ Bad Cop, who continue to surprise and delight their fans with every release. A band which is just as electric on stage as they are in the studio, this is a must-listen punk album that shows the band at their best.

The Ride is out now via Fat Wreck Chords.

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