Admittedly, in 2020 it’s lazy journalism to point out that right-wing Xenophobic presidencies lead to great punk rock albums (Reagan; George W.; the gnarled old Pussy grabber in chief), but damn if Bad Cop Bad Cop don’t prove that point yet again with their latest.
That’s not to say The Ride is all piss and vinegar, in fact compared to previous efforts there is a stronger theme of resilience and even defiant optimism running through most of the dozen tracks that make up this latest record. There is still plenty of vitriol aimed at those in charge, like on the powerful and rightfully angry “Certain Kind of Monster,” about the Trump administration’s deplorable immigration and detention policies. The weighty lyrics are propped up by some of the band’s most ferocious guitars yet. “Pursuit of Liberty” is just as impactful and again the muse is courtesy of D.C.’s special brand of xenophobia.
At the same time, politics is only a portion of the influence on the songwriting here. The band easily shifts gears to more straight ahead pop punk on tracks like, “Take My Call” and “Community,” which have no connection to politics and still manage to be almost as affecting. On “Breastless” singer/guitarist Stacey Dee recounts her personal battle with breast cancer in one of the most powerful moments on a record teaming with powerful moments.
With The Ride Bad Cop Bad Cop have managed to turn in a satisfyingly addictive album that manages to both in the moment politically while also being timelessly relatable; A pretty impressive feat.