Review: Cop Problem – Cop Problem EP [9.5 out of 10]

By Andrew Bansal

One of the joys associated with being a reviewer is the endless opportunity to explore new music and in the process, discover bands I had previously never heard of. Philadelphia-based hardcore D-beat punk quartet Cop Problem is one such band. I decided to check out their debut EP today, at random, and I’m glad I did, because I’m mightily impressed with what I’m hearing on this three-song EP.

The EP is a mere 8 minutes and 36 seconds in duration, but that’s all it needs to make its desired impact. The opening track “Monuments” boasts of an enormously dark and epic build-up which then transforms into a vicious attack led by frontwoman Deborah Cohen and later joined by guitarist Randon Martin. Despite being an extremely short track, it is surprisingly well structured, and musically, it offers a lot more than what you’d normally expect from a band that’s labelled “hardcore D-beat punk”.

“Along For The Ride” is a truly great follow-up. Shorter, more concise and as a result, more fierce. Donny Mutt’s bass is noticeably heavy on this one, and is complemented brilliantly by drummer Joshua Cohen’s use of blast beats, albeit for a brief passage. This makes it all the more interesting, and presents yet another facet you wouldn’t normally find in hardcore punk bands. But my favorite tune on this EP is most definitely “Blinded By Power”. The melodic guitar riffs caught my attention immediately to start with, and Deborah’s vocals along with the rhythm section carry the song forward with amazing vigor. The song even offers a slow, quiet interlude laden with some delightful guitar work and clean spoken word-type vocals. This incredibly gripping tune ends the EP, leaving me hungry for more from Cop Problem. But as of now, all I can do is listen to the EP over and over again.

The quartet have shown their versatility on this debut EP, presenting a musical style that can only be broadly categorized, but in reality explores depths that are beyond the realms of conventional D-beat punk. I’m already excited at the prospect of a full length album from them, hopefully in the near future, and even though I’ve never seen them in a live setting, the strength of their material tells me that I should expect nothing less than an amazing show, whenever I get a chance to witness a Cop Problem show.

Aside from the music, I love the band’s name. The name Cop Problem is an absolutely perfect fit for their music. In fact, it was the name that drew me towards checking out this EP in the first place, and the cover artwork raised my curiosity even further. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I was intrigued by it.

Cop Problem have created a tremendous first impression on their debut EP, delivering a fantastic three-song burst. All in all, a splendid effort impossible to dislike.

Rating: 9.5/10

Related: Interview

Record Label: War Torn (US)/Prejudice Me (UK)
Release Date: March 29th 2012

Track Listing:
1. Monuments
2. Along For The Ride
3. Blinded By Power