Iconic American humorist Will Rogers is oft credited as once saying, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” If that’s indeed true, then you gotta hit ‘em hard and get it right — from the get-go. Clearly, that’s a concept subscribed to by So-Cal punk/pop combo, Bad Cop / Bad Cop.

The band made a powerful local first impression with their self-produced 2012 demo, Get Rad. The EP soon caught the attention of indie L.A. music mogul, Fat Mike, and the co-founding NOFX bassist signed the group to his prolific Fat Wreck Chords label in short order. Then they impressed the U.S. scene with their first official Fat Wreck release, the EP, Boss Lady in 2013. And five years ago this summer (June 16, 2015), Bad Cop / Bad Cop impressed a global audience with their first full-length slab, Not Sorry.

Produced by Fat Mike, the 13-track collection met all of my personal “C-word” criteria — “crisp,” “crunchy,” “catchy,” “concise,” and “clever.” My other favorite “C-word” — “cookie,” isn’t applicable here.

Kicking off with a familiar-feeling nod to the Three Stooges, “Nightmare” made a powerful first impression — a solid opener. Proving that nobody writes a better “stupid poppy love song” than these gals, co-vocalist and guitarist Jennie Cotterill spewed a seemingly sweet initial sentiment — You know that I love you. And that you can count on me to be true. But then, buried beneath the infectious harmony and irresistible melody lurked a smidge of dysfunction — I’m trying not to be a fucking psycho. Oh, but it’s hard sometimes — when you’ve got a head like mine. Shakespearean, for sure.

Strutting down the runway, sporting a snot-splattered “Miss Transparency” sash, the apt-titled “Anti Love Song” was a proud runner-up in this punk pageant. So, BLEH, BLEH, BLEH, BLEH, BLEH! You never meant shit to me! As a longtime nightclub DJ, I know the realities of the bar biz quite well. Hence, “Cheers” was another tune that spoke to me on a very personal level. By light of day it´s hard not to notice, just how filthy this place can be. The smell of bleach and cheap shots, drowning out my ugly company — freaking perfect.

Addressing the disgusting, disturbing, and all too real subject of domestic violence, “Sugarcane” was perhaps the album’s MVP. Bursting with heart-stopping gusto, this happy-sounding little number actually packed a powerful lyrical punch — a message that needs to be heard. And while I don’t subscribe (necessarily) to answering to physical violence with more physical violence, I do believe that much of vocalist/guitarist Stacey Dee’s point was spot-on — GET UP! GET OUT! GET ON! Pick a new life. One you’d be proud of! FYI, you truly ARE worth (much) more than you can dream to think — and don’t forget it!

Bad Cop / Bad Cop

Fueled by high-octane riffage and punctuated by Myra Gallarza’s neck-snapping, signature-style drum abuse, “Old Dogs” swings from the fences — resulting in a dazzling, “I Will Survive”-style delight. Unwavering and un-apologetic, “Like, Seriously?” made the record’s mightiest first impression. We’re gonna be taken seriously! We’re gonna be here continuously! Go fuck yourself, but can’t fuck with me! We’re already part of punk history! I must confess, despite the abrasive lyrics, this one left my eardrums — extremely wet. Another shiny highlight, “Rip You to Shreds” was a playfully empowered breakup romp that oozed one of Linh Le’s sassiest, slinkiest basslines — ever.

With all the recent hoo-ha surrounding the band’s just-released new record, The Ride (read our album review here), I almost forgot about this mini-milestone anniversary. Hmm — I don’t FEEL tardy! While I’m uncertain whether or not Will Rogers would have been a fan, one thing IS certain — with Not Sorry, Bad Cop / Bad Cop DID make a HUGE “first impression.”

Not Sorry Track Listing:

1. Nightmare (2:15)
2. Anti Love Song (2:19)
3. Here’s to You (3:28)
4. Cheers (4:01)
5. Joey Lawrence (3:02)
6. Sugarcane (2:50)
7. I’m Alright (2:29)
8. Old Dogs (2:48)
9. Like, Seriously? (2:10)
10. Rip You to Shreds (2:10)
11. The ‘Wood (3:21)
12. Firewater (3:26)
13. Support (2:40)

Run Time: 36:21
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords

Christopher Long is a celebrated author, show biz analyst, award-winning musician, entertainment personality and international missionary. Referred to once as "the rock and roll Erma Bombeck," Long is known for his conversational, common sense writing style and possessing a passion for sharing his unique pop culture perspectives. Raised in Missouri's rugged Ozark Mountains and on Florida's sunny Space Coast, Christopher Long currently lives near Cocoa Beach. (AuthorChristopherLong@yahoo.com)