The Copyrights - Learn the Hard Way (Cover Artwork)

The Copyrights

The Copyrights: Learn the Hard WayLearn the Hard Way (2008)
Red Scare

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: misterspikemisterspike
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's frustrating when your favorite bands take several years between albums. Some (no names) take three to four years between releases, only to reward fans with 30-35 minutes of what is essentially Our Last Record, Part Deux. Carbondale, IL's the Copyrights feel your pain, and are here to save the d.
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It's frustrating when your favorite bands take several years between albums. Some (no names) take three to four years between releases, only to reward fans with 30-35 minutes of what is essentially Our Last Record, Part Deux. Carbondale, IL's the Copyrights feel your pain, and are here to save the day. With three LPs and two EPs under their "buzz pop" belts since 2004, the Copyrights have consistently rewarded fans with albums full of short blasts of catchy riffs and sing-along choruses. Less than a year after their last release (2007's Make Sound), the Copyrights are back with their fourth album in as many years, Learn the Hard Way.

The album kicks off with "Second Hearse Same as the First," and doesn't let up. With what feels like nary a moment's gap between songs, the band moves seamlessly from one song to the next. The album is paced almost like a band on a mission to pack as much pop-punk goodness in as possible, as quickly as possible. "Headaches" moves right into the 1-2 punch of "All You People" and, before you know it, the introductory line of "We brought knives to a gunfight / We're in above our heads" ("Switchblades"). Just when you think you've caught your breath, you're bouncing through the final song, the aptly titled "On the Way Out."

This is by no means a dig, as the speed the record goes by (14 songs clocking in at just under 26 minutes) just means you can play it again that much quicker. You'll find yourself going back over and over, addicted to the choruses of "Shit's Fucked," "She Turns it Up" and "57 North."

Fans of their previous releases will dive into Learn the Hard Way and be immediately hooked. It picks up right where Make Sound left off, but still manages to sound fresh enough to avoid the cliché "more of the same" mentality that so many bands fall into.

That doesn't mean they don't know what they do best. The Copyrights have found their formula, and they're sticking to it, thank you very much. Nothing wrong with that, as many beloved bands (the Ramones quickly come to mind) have done much the same thing for years and consistently packed shows and sold records. If they keep delivering such catchy choruses and no-nonsese, straight-ahead pop-punk, there is no reason to think the Copyrights won't be able to do the same thing.

With Teenage Bottlerocket releasing Warning Device, and now the Copyrights' newest, 2008 is shaping up to be a good year for pop-punk fans (and Red Scare Industries). At the rate the Copyrights are going, they just might have another full-length out by the end of the year. With Learn the Hard Way surely destined for many end-of-year lists, The Copyrights have firmly established themselves as a band to stand-up and take notice of, if you haven't already. And if you have, feel free to tell the others "I told you so."


People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Teenage Bottlerocket - Warning DeviceDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RDear Landlord - Dream HomesThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundTeenage Bottlerocket - They Came from the ShadowsThe Copyrights - Make SoundThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimOperation Ivy - Operation Ivy

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
LIQUIDSWORDS (November 30, 2008)

The Copyrights are the greatest thing to happen to music ever.

randomness (July 2, 2008)

while their last three albums have been really good, i can't stop listening to their first album "We Didn't Come Here To Die", has some their best songs in my opinion

Goo (April 8, 2008)

Score is for artwork. Brett's does some cool shit.

Not as good as Make Sound, but that's still pretty fucking amazing.

slymer (March 4, 2008)

I love this band, but this is a step down from Make Sound. Make Sound is a pop-punk masterpiece.

JerryCola (March 3, 2008)

"You mean The Copyrights, right? Not Kiss!"

Yes, he means the Copyrights. It's going to be split-tastic!

papamurphy (March 3, 2008)

Kicks ass.

William_Jess (March 3, 2008)

The album is ok. Good, but not great. Saw them on Friday or Saturday and they put on a decent show. Liked 0to60 and Shot Baker much more, but that's probably because I've been pretty tired pop-punk for about a decade.

baseball (March 3, 2008)

Same score I give every good pop punk album!

spoon_of_grimbo (March 3, 2008)

you know who else were pretty damn prolific?

rocket from the crypt!

you know whose last-show live album hasn't been reviewed yet?

rocket from the crypt!

score is for that not being reviewed yet!

fallingupwards84 (March 2, 2008)

its not difficult to write an entire new album every six months when most of your songs sound the same

misterspike (March 2, 2008)

Do the KISS comparisons mean they're gonna cover "God Of Thunder" and spit blood on their tour opening for Bottlerocket? Kickass.

telegraphrocks (March 2, 2008)

"For a while KISS and the Ramones were doing an album a year. And believe it or not, I am pretty sure they have some more stuff coming out as soon as Summer I believe."

You mean The Copyrights, right? Not Kiss!

Redscare (March 2, 2008)

Looks like people are digging the new record, which is awesome. It is pretty phenomenal that they wrote two great records in such a short time, but as somebody pointed out earlier, that used to be commonplace back in the day. For a while KISS and the Ramones were doing an album a year. And believe it or not, I am pretty sure they have some more stuff coming out as soon as Summer I believe.

Looks like there were a few Orgers at the show. Who knew...

Rodeo (March 2, 2008)

Amazing review. Good job. Told me what I needed to know and actually focused on the album. I really like your writing style.

Jakeska (March 1, 2008)

I dunno why everyone is bitching about The Copyrights putting out so many quality albums in such a short time. It obviously has no effect on the music they're putting out. Either way I think this album is fucking fantastic, I can't help but listen to it 3-4 times a day. These guys are super talented and cool guys too, this is the future of pop-punk.

sumwon (March 1, 2008)

honestly, 3 albums in what-- 3 years? thats a bit too much

That was about average in until the 80's

INDW (March 1, 2008)

there is no doubt in my mind that this will help red scare on their inevitable journey towards world domination...and what a fun world it will be!

bryne (March 1, 2008)

This record is good but it lacks the diversity that made Make Sound great. I think it has more in common with Mutiny Pop than Make Sound.

Then again, I'm sure I'll love this after a few more listens.

telegraphrocks (March 1, 2008)

I ended up going to the show last night mainly just to pick this CD up (I've had a burned copy, but that just doesn't do, ya know?), and also the "Button Smashers" 7-inch. They didn't have the 7-inch, but I also did get the free Love & Squalor CD (along with free sticker & button... thanks Scruffy), and that's pretty damn good as well (I also didn't know you guys were with Window Licker. My friend's back just started working with them).

Anyway, I got my CDs, walked back outside, threw up, and went home.
I'm glad Vito is a nice enough guy to let me in just for merch.

Oh, and the ramblings inside the booklet are pretty cool.

damnitsderek (March 1, 2008)

The Copyrights were a band I was meaning to get into a little while back and never got around to picking up any of their discs. Any recommendations for a good place to start?

red_eye_inc (March 1, 2008)

update on my earlier score...it was ok. i didn't win anything in the raffle.

danperrone (March 1, 2008)

continuing the trend of fairly well-known punk bands getting 8/10s on punknews

this is average. at best.

tommy_jarvis (March 1, 2008)

i went to three record stores yesterday looking for this. by the time i got to the fourth, it was closed.
this score is for pittsburgh record shops in general.

ozmanx (February 29, 2008)

I was never big on these guys but damn is this album catchy.

red_eye_inc (February 29, 2008)

I'm going to see these guys when I'm done with the beer I'm drinking. Score is for how good I expect it to be, bearing in mind that I have the flu and the guy I'm going with doesn't want to go. FUCK 'IM SHIT'S GONNA RULE

AphasiacIIc (February 29, 2008)

honestly, 3 albums in what-- 3 years? thats a bit too much

telegraphrocks (February 29, 2008)


... and leprechaun's for desert.

telegraphrocks (February 29, 2008)

This album is fucking awesome. I was originally stoked like crazy, and awaiting their show tonight with Shot Baker, Zero To Sixty, Love & Squalor, and Ryan's Hope... but I feel like total shit right now, like I could start vomiting intestines any minute. However, I think I might just head out in the next 10 minutes mainly to see The Copyrights... they're so fucking fun live.

Anywho, this album is awesome. I still like "Make Sound" a little better, but only slightly. It does squeak by "Mutiny Pop", but barely.
This is guaranteed to make my "top of 2008" list.

Toby eats babies for breakfast.

cooltobeyou (February 29, 2008)

Great review. This is arguably the best album that The Copyrights have released so far. I still hold "Make Sound" as my personal favorite but, musically speaking, there is honestly no denying that "Learn The Hard Way" is their best release so far.

JaredK (February 29, 2008)

I can't wait to hear this...I was not as high on make Sound as Mutiny Pop but it was solid.

Can we collectively bid on the top banner to get rid of that Second Hand Serenade ad? That guy is way to fucking dreamy...can't focus and shit.

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