I Love Cops is the debut from the up and coming punk band The Strange Times. The four-song EP is less than 15 minutes in length but showcases the young band’s talents and strengths. What I liked about The Strange Times’ version of punk rock is that it feels fun. That have a lot more in common with The Ramones than the Sex Pistols as the music has politically/social overtones but the overall vibe you get is that these guys want to have a good time with the tunes they are playing.
Musically speaking they stick to punk rock 101 from the 70’s to contemporary bands but throw in a couple of twists and turns along the way. There are plenty of distorted power chords and lead solos but they also implement things like a 50’s doo-wop breakdown.
The album begins with “Accepting Defeat,” which tips its hat more to punk bands from the last ten years or so than to anything else. It’s a pretty straightforward catchy tune and lyrically explores classic punk rock ethos such as rebellion, revolt and opposition. The vocalist sings “Cause you're accepting defeat / Accepting defeat / Fall in line / Accepting defeat / Assuming that we were wrong / The whole time / Well I won't go back / To the misery / But what we stood for / Still stands true to me / So fuck defeat / Feed your mind.”
“Potion” proves the band isn’t afraid to explore dynamics and structure that differ from stereotypical punk rock. Right before the two-minute mark they dose the vocalist’s voice in reverb and lose the distortion on the guitars. It was an unexpected but effective little twist.
“Stop! Let's Get Frisky” is about power hungry sexual deviants who abuse their authority. What would a punk rock record be without a song about the police? They close with “Incite,” which has the fastest BPM as well as orchestral strings. As I said these guys aren't afraid to explore a bit.
Overall, these songs are well written and well produced. They aren't perfect but a solid first effort that should put this band on your radar.
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