April 08, 2014 - Fat Wreck Chords
When I first laid eyes and ears on this Los Angeles quartet, I immediately flashed back to the Pandoras, an ’80s garage-pop ensemble who were something like the Go-Gos’ rowdier, nastier cousins. Then my 13-year-old got into the car and asked, “Is this Avril Lavigne?” Those divergent reactions suggest two obvious points, which are both helpful to and problematic for Bad Cop/Bad Cop. First, female rock acts don’t live in the music-biz ghetto they used to a quarter-century ago. However, with more competition, the novelty factor of said ghetto vanishes as well. Boss Lady hits the Three Ts template we’ve come to expect from Fat Wreck Chords—tight, taut and tuneful, with the welcome addition of three-part harmonies, which lift the nearly sweet love song “Cucumber” off the ground. There are generous doses of attitude, exemplified on the closing track, “Asshole,” a brief, snarled dismissal of a hapless ex. It’s a completely fun way to spend 10 minutes or so; let’s see if the full-length to follow offers an even more distinctive take on the familiar template.