Bad Cop/Bad Cop - Not Sorry (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Bad Cop / Bad Cop

Not Sorry (2015)

Fat Wreck Chords

Bad Cop/Bad Cop have been putting in quite a bit of time in the punk scene. They have released two EPs and they have played countless shows throughout Southern California, they have opened for big name punk acts like Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and Good Riddance, and they even performed at Punk Rock Bowling in 2014. After all of those shows, the band brought the best of both of their EPs plus much more to the table for their first full length titled Not Sorry, which was produced by none other than Fat Mike.

So if you listened to Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s first two releases you’ll know that they play very melodic punk rock that features plenty of bright three-part harmonies, crunchy guitars, slick bass lines, slammin’ drums and lyrics full of confrontational attitude. Of course, all of that is here on Not Sorry, but they the band stepped up their game especially when it comes to the guitar riffs and vocals. The track really encompasses all of these examples of the band’s improvements is the track “Like, Seriously.” The vocals, both backing and lead, are more daring and a lot more confident. The instrumentation is a lot more daring and in your face. But again, that goes for the whole record. For those of you who don’t know Bad Cop/Bad Cop yet, you’ll get to know them very quickly after listening to this song just once. It seems to be their anthem where they lay out their motivations for being a punk band.

Lyrically, there is something for everyone here. This album has lyrics that are fun and amusing like “There’s gangstas, but they’re friendly/Because of my puppy/I learned on my side of Crenshaw/ It’s ‘wear blue territory.’” Then some lyrics delve into being fed up with love and relationships like “So cheers! Here to hoping/ I never see your face again/ This one’s to chase the awful taste of your name from my tongue” in the chorus of the mega jam “Cheers.” And there are politically/socially charged lyrics such as “You’re with us or against us/It’s yes or no/Your silence is defense of the status quo/If you support me, then come and join me” in the anthemic jam, “Support.”

But what makes Not Sorry different from the band’s previous releases and especially stand out from other melodic/pop punk albums in general is that each song sounds different from the other and can stand on its own, but together the songs blend flawlessly as an album. Each song has its own musical characteristic that makes it extra unique. So you don’t know what you are going to get next in the following song. The song “Nightmare” starts out with an a capella ode to The Three Stooges, immediately showing us just how much the members of Bad Cop/Bad Cop were able to improve and push their three-part harmony skills. “Here’s To You” is a mid-tempo track starts out as an acoustic song and then it transitions into a mixed electric and acoustic song. The song “I’m Alright” takes the album in an unexpected, but interesting turn by starting off with a reggae sound, which takes up about the first full minute of the track. And after that minute or so is up, it then builds up into a full-throttled, distorted punk song.

There are also a few cool instances where the band actually personifies the lyrics in the music in really creative ways. When guitarist and vocalist Stacey Dee sings “The truth it fuckin’ stings/But so do bad beatings,” both guitars ring out harmonics as if they were actually being punched. And during the song “Like, Seriously?” Stacey Dee, Jennie Cotterill and Linh Le sing the words “three-part harmonies” in a three-part harmony. It’s these little extra musical bits and creative details in each song on Not Sorry that makes it a very fun and dynamic record.

Like I said in my review of Bad Cop/Bad Cop’s first release, “I think we can expect great things from [the band] in the future.” I think that time has come now with the release of Not Sorry. It’s a real kick in the ass for the punk scene. Well done Stacey, Jennie, Linh and Myra. Well done Fat Mike. And well done Fat Wreck Chords. This is one hell of an album.

You can check this album out here! You won’t be sorry! (Corny/cringeworthy joke intended).