Trying to lay down your game plan in a three-track EP is an unenviable task, yet Cop Problem do so with remarkable ease. At a meagre 9 minutes in length, blink and you’ll miss it, but listen and you’ll find this triad of songs burning themselves into your soul with the sheer force of their ire and conviction.
Once you’ve scratched through the encrusted filth of the guitars, the gravely snarls of Deb Cohen and the ballsy frenzy of the musicianship, you’ll find that genuine disaffection is at the crux of Cop Problem. As such, the music takes on a sadistic pace, and slams elements of grindcore and crust onto its hardcore framework; the weighty groove of ‘Monuments’ intro echoes the foreboding misery of Will Haven, and then leaps into the punk-like shitstorm of the main body of the song. The lyrics are emphatic and sincere, “When they try to pull the wool over our eyes//anger is a gift”, and stand out as striking admonishments of the society they despair over.
Sounding like the more melodic sibling of Trap Them and Converge, bands with which they’ve toured in the past, Cop Problem represent a segment of brutality that relies more upon the conspicuous conviction of their message as opposed to the outright musical fury of other hardcore bands. This is an EP that bears all of the political indignation of Rage Against the Machine with a sound that flails like the unencumbered outrage of a man who knows he is dying.
As a statement of intent, this self-titled release couldn’t be much stronger; it’s swift and dangerous and only drops the pace midway through ‘Blinded By Power’ for its stirring diatribe against the evils of misusing authority. Three songs aren’t quite enough to see the true calibre of these young Philadelphian punks, but there’s enough here to prove that they’re not just filler in the increasingly turgid hardcore scene. A very promising entrance.