Tag Archives: Bad Cop / Bad Cop

Pouzza Fest 9, Montreal, Q.C., 5/17/19-5/19/19 By Will Malkus


I’ve often heard Montreal’s Pouzza Fest referred to as “Fest spring training,” but now in its ninth year of operation it’s pretty clear to see that Pouzza Fest is in the process of developing its own identity, out from under the shadow of its larger and older fellow. It’s no secret that Pouzza Fest was heavily inspired by The Fest in Gainesville, Fla., but like so many of us did when we first discovered punk music, the smaller festival is now starting to see which parts of its identity it wants to keep and which parts it wants to change. This year especially the changes were readily on display, not just in the presentation but also in the lineup the organizers chose to book and the other wholly unique activities and events that are part of the Pouzza experience. I look forward to seeing Pouzza Fest continue to grow and mature but this year had its own highlights, which I had the opportunity to write about.

All the best parts of Pouzza Fest are still there of course; the fact that all of the shows at the main stage beer garden are free and open to the public, for example, or the presence of the food that the festival is named after (pizza with poutine as a topping), but the most valuable part of Pouzza Fest by far is the ongoing dialog about diversity in music and working hard as a community to make sure everyone at the festival is safe that the organizers encourage to not only take place, but evolve and expand throughout the weekend. Over the course of the three-day festival Lorien Lamarr and I covered twenty-seven bands, two panels, and one baseball tournament. I saw old friends, made some new ones, and explored parts of Montreal I’ve never gotten to see before. Obviously that makes for a lot of content, so I’ll try to keep this brief. Hopefully the following reviews will introduce you to a new band or musician, or help start a conversation about safety and representation, but please also feel free to check out the full lineup at their website. Amusez-vous bien!


Women in the Scene Panel: at The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
It’s telling that Pouzza Fest decided to hold a Q&A panel focusing on women in punk, and even more telling that it was the very first event on the entire festival schedule. The panel, which featured a combination of musicians (Anlin Fan, Jenni Cotterill, Jordan Joyes, Valerie Knox), bookers (Nancy Ross), journalists (Liz Imperiale), and PR agents (Melanie Kaye), was moderated by Turbo Haüs co-owner and music industry veteran Michelle Ayoub. The topics covered ranged broadly, as the issues and experiences of being a woman in punk are no more universal and interchangeable than those of any human being, but of course there were some common threads. A lot of time was given to addressing and debunking the prevailing myth that “female-fronted” constitutes its own genre, and also to discussing strategies and tips for achieving success in whatever niche aspect of punk the hypothetical audience chooses to focus on. I would love to see more of these panels happen not only at Pouzza but also at other festivals in the future, because as the panel members pointed out, this was not only about addressing the struggles of being a woman in the scene but also presenting a valuable educational resource for people of any identity to benefit from.

Anti-Harassment Seminar and Q&A with Shawna from War On Women: at The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
I won’t spend too much time focusing on Shawna Potter’s brief introduction to anti-harassment because it’s all covered (and in much more depth than I could ever get into with just this brief paragraph) in her new book Making Spaces Safer: A Guide to Giving Harassment the Boot Wherever You Work, Play, and Gather, recently published by AK Press. It’s a great read and if you haven’t had the chance yet I highly suggest checking it out, but the main focus of her seminar was the Five D’s of Bystander Intervention, the five steps to be taken in the event that someone is being harassed in front of you: Direct, Distract, Delegate, Delay, and Document (the last one to be used as a last resort if one or more of the others have failed). Being from Baltimore I’ve had the opportunity to hear Shawna speak on this topic several times, but I can’t stress enough how worthwhile these strategies and techniques are. Big ups to Pouzza Fest for kicking off their festival by giving attendees tools to use throughout the weekend to help keep each other safe.

Cold Wrecks: at Foufs Garage, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
Pouzza veterans Cold Wrecks played the first set of the fest, but even if they hadn’t, I still would have gone out of my way to catch them. The four-piece band released their second LP This Could Be Okay just a few months ago and you could feel the hype in a packed Foufs Garage. Even with a fill-in lead guitarist and the fate of their beloved van (RIP Van Michael Vancent) uncertain and weighing on their minds, Cold Wrecks was able to bring the pop punk energy which set the pace for the rest of the weekend. Very few bands do jump-worthy, high-energy songs about the anxieties and frustrations of life in the 2010s as well as these four. They rounded out their set by playing ”Montreal,” furthering their successful efforts to make themselves mainstays of all the best festivals by writing songs about their host cities.

Sarchasm: at Foufs Garage, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
Hot on the heels of Cold Wrecks was the East Bay’s Sarchasm serving up their specific brand of “intersectional bummer punk pop.” True to form, their most recent album on Asian Man Records was called Beach Blanket Bummer Pop, and in all honesty I struggle to find a better description for their sound. These are upbeat summer jams about dark topics, like being scared for your life at a protest or contemplating suicide, a musical dichotomy that I might have been skeptical about prior to hearing them absolutely nail it. Sarchasm seems to feel their music in every fiber of their being; stumbling, jumping, and writhing around every inch of the tiny Foufs Garage stage with reckless abandon whether they’re belting out their own powerful lyrics or absolutely slaying a cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.”

Choked Up: at Foufounes Électriques, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
Brooklyn-based four-piece Choked Up was in the middle of their sound check when we got to the main stage at Foufs, but it was hard to tell because the band was so in synch they were playing what sounded like full songs already. As a warm-up it was impressive, but not nearly as impressive as their full set. There are clearly miles and miles of meaning behind Choked Up’s songs, which shouldn’t come as a surprise since they’re fronted by the prolific graphic novelist and illustrator Cristy Road. There’s a cohesion to Choked Up that’s hard to find in bands that have been around three times as long and the crowd was very clearly there for the understated shredding, the gritty edge of Road’s vocals, and the lyrical content that backs up Choked Up’s mission statement of, “Queer POC to the front! It’s okay if you feel awkward. If you got into punk rock and you don’t feel awkward, maybe rethink your choices!”

Bad Cop/Bad Cop: at The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
For the first of many times over the course of Pouzza Fest weekend, the main stage in downtown Montreal came alive for the powerful trademark harmonies of Bad Cop/Bad Cop. These West Coast punks have been on the rise for the last few years and it’s easy to see why. Between the aforementioned harmonies, the syncopated no-frills guitar, and a message that has never been more prescient, Bad Cop/Bad Cop playing “Womanarchist” was easily one of the stand-out performances of the entire festival. And speaking of “Womanarchist,” their flagship song felt especially relevant in the wake of the Alabama abortion ban passed just days before Pouzza Fest, and as they launched into it the field in front of the stage became only a mass of bodies jumping and beer cups raised high as the words “it’s my right to choose!” echoed across the entire city of Montreal.

Early Riser: at Foufounes Électriques, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
Between Brooklyn mainstays Heidi Vanderlee and Kiri Oliver’s dual vocals and cello/guitar respectively, Mikey Erg of every band ever on drums, and proper.’s Natasha Johnson filling in on bass, I think it’s safe to say that Early Riser has officially achieved NYC supergroup status with their Pouzza 9 set. I most often hear Early Riser categorized as a folk punk band, but I don’t think that moniker really does justice to their legitimately beautiful songs. In a scene filled with people screaming into microphones and pounding on their instruments, it’s so nice to occasionally just sit back and hear some happy songs accompanied by warm cello music and soft harmonies. It was the only time all weekend I got to see how the acoustics in Foufs did with anything other than punk vocals and they did not disappoint.

Save Ends: at Foufs Garage, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
We were a little late getting into Save Ends’ set in the smaller half of Foufs, but that didn’t diminish my excitement at the opportunity to see them again. Day one of Pouzza was proving to be full of atypical punk acts and Save Ends was no exception. On top of guitar riffs and baselines that range from pop punk to emo to truly heavy, the real power behind the Boston five-piece is the interplay of vocal accompaniment between their co-vocalists: guitarist Christina Atturio and keyboardist Brendan Cahill. Both have wholly unique voices in the world of punk, and together they elevate Save Ends into a whole different weight class. This was the first set of the weekend where I saw people singing all the words to the songs back at the band, and judging from expressions, I saw I’m sure more people will be joining in the next time Save Ends plays Pouzza Fest.

Abertooth Lincoln: at Turbo Haüs, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
Stepping into Turbo Haüs is kind of like stepping into another world. After passing through an entirely nondescript and unsuspecting bar, I entered through a door into a room completely bathed in red light and full of drunken punks all speaking rapid-fire French, where a band that looked like the crew of a cruise ship was tuning up on stage. From the side of the stage entered a person wearing a wetsuit, and they took a microphone in hand as the rest of the band launched into some of the hardest metalcore I’ve ever heard, complimented by 8-bit interstitials from a lone keyboard player. The band in question was Abertooth Lincoln from Dayton, Ohio, though during this particular set they identified themselves as Space Force, after the eponymous anti-nationalism single they released just a few months ago (and also a flash game of the same name they made to go along with it). Words cannot do it justice but safe to say everyone in attendance was entirely floored by the sheer energy and powerful voice of frontperson Ashley Pooler and the brutality of the rest of the band, myself not the least among them.

Dead Bars: at Katacombes, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
If a group of your thirty-something friends listened to an Iron Chic record and decided to start a band with a vocalist doing his best Lawrence Arms impression, then invited you over for a band practice where they were absolutely hammered, you’d have a pretty good sense of what seeing Dead Bars live is like. They are a no-holds-barred, true-to-form pop punk band out here singing love songs about sharing earplugs and I could not have enjoyed their set more if I tried. From the balcony of Katacombes I had a front row seat to watching the front rows rip themselves into a frenzy over a repeated chorus of la-la-las and the stumbling antics of vocalist John Maiello that threatened to consume the whole crowd. It was already 11:00 PM by the time they went on but no one was holding anything back on night one, least of all Dead Bars.

Arms Aloft: at Katacombes, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
Where to begin with Arms Aloft? I could write about them for pages, so it’s hard to try to isolate this down to just the bare minimum. I’d be hard pressed to try to think of a band that inspires me more with the things they say, not just through their music but through their staunch anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, anti-shitty-people platform as well. Sonically, Arms Aloft is Midwestern punk at its best: raw, fast, and honest, completely lacking any guile whatsoever. Seth Giles’ gruff voice was in rare form on night one, especially while crooning the title track and my personal favorite from their last album What a Time to Be Barely Alive. Arms Aloft ended their set with an impressive display of Midwestern manners; lots of compliments and gratitude for Pouzza Fest itself. Just because you’re punk doesn’t mean you have to be an asshole, and no band exemplifies that ideal better than Arms Aloft.

Spanish Love Songs: at Katacombes, Pouzza Fest, 5/17/19
This wasn’t my first Pouzza Fest so I knew to pack extra clothes because there is one universal truth to surviving in Montreal venues: no matter what the temperature is outside the inside will be very, very warm. Couple that with the fact that we were closing out the night with the undisputed champions of heartfelt party jams Spanish Love Songs and I knew not a single one of us would be making it out of Katacombes with our clothes dry. Spanish Love Songs absolutely destroyed the crowd in the best possible way and I can only imagine what we must have looked like from their perspective: a constantly shifting sea of sweaty faces screaming their songs, fists raised high into the air, with people practically hanging off the balcony to point their fingers back at them. Their mid-set rendition of new single “Losers” was a Pouzza Fest highlight for me and a perfect end to the night.


Grand Slam 4 Baseball Tournament: at Lafontaine Park, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
Day two of Pouzza Fest started with a long search for what might be the most unique aspect of the whole festival: the Saturday morning baseball tournament. Punk and baseball have a long history of intersection but Pouzza Fest takes the relationship a step further and lets bands, sponsors, and partners form teams to compete against one another in a bracketed tournament, complete with hot dogs and beer for sale, a live announcer, and (naturally) loud punk music blasted from giant speakers just to complete the authenticity of the experience. I got the impression that this is one of the better kept secrets of Pouzza Fest but I genuinely hope to see it grow in the future as it was a very relaxing way to pass a sunny morning in Montreal before the music started.

The Anti-Queens: at The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
The Anti-Queens used to bill themselves as “four tits and a dick” but these days they’ve swapped the dick out to realize their final form: “eight tits and some instruments.” I caught The Anti-Queens last year at Pouzza Fest but this year they took the main stage by storm first thing on day two, immediately winning over the audience by dedicating a song to “anyone here who’s on their period right now!” Even though it was obvious that a lot of the crowd were battling hangovers and just starting their days, the Toronto band still brought the energy and rallied the assemblage with thirty minutes of blistering garage punk fit for any early ’90s college basement show. The open-air venue allowed the three-part harmonies of the band to really shine where last year they were a bit overshadowed by a smaller space, which is way more of a testament to how hard they wail on their instruments then it is a criticism of their voices or the acoustics at other Pouzza venues. With this fest under their belts The Anti-Queens may have fully graduated to headliner status, and I hope to see their name at the top of more lineup announcements soon.

Alex Brown And The Hepcats: at The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
I’m a big fan of diversity in my lineups so I was happy to see that Pouzza Fest continues to go out of their way to book acts that I would probably never seek out on my own. While rockabilly certainly isn’t for everyone (I can’t say I’m the biggest fan myself), Alex Brown And The Hepcats were a welcome surprise before a full day of running from punk show to punk show. It takes a lot of charisma to pull off the rockabilly aesthetic in 2019 but charisma is something that Alex Brown has in spades, blending a little punk energy into the genre of a different rebellious age while still twisting, shouting, and shaking like Elvis Presley himself. Once you hear him you might not be surprised to learn that he was a quarter-finalist on the Canadian version of The Voice, and that vocal prowess coupled with some excellent twangy guitar and good old-fashioned charm had people legitimately swing dancing by the second or third song of the set.

Walt Hamburger: at Théâtre Sainte-Catherine, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
Walt Hamburger was probably my favorite surprise discovery out of all of Pouzza Fest. Lorien Lamarr (Aretesophist Photography) asked that we cover him, and when I remarked that I had no idea what he sounded like, she replied simply “good.” Dashing over from the Beer Garden to the tiniest Pouzza venue Théâtre Sainte-Catherine meant that his set had already started, but walking into that crowded room mid-song was probably the best introduction I could have gotten. Soulful ballads with heart-wrenching lyrics weren’t really what I expected to hear from a guy called Walt Hamburger, but it’s always nice to be surprised in the oft-predictable punk world. Walt plays some of the best acoustipunk I’ve heard in a very long time and has almost two decades of experience as a musician under his belt, but nothing could have prepared me for the whistling. This may seem like a strange statement, but the man can whistle like nobody’s business and it adds a whimsical counterpoint to what are some of my new favorite “rainy day” songs.

Direct Hit!: at The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
Direct Hit! writes pop punk concept albums about the nuclear apocalypse and experimental drug use à la Hunter S. Thompson, and even though the thoughtful approach to minimalist storytelling through well-crafted lyrics seems at odds with their “get drunk and party” punk rock approach to music, it has cemented their status as one of the greatest contemporary pop punk bands. I always seem to catch them headlining festivals these days, which isn’t a bad thing by any means, but it does mean that some of the party atmosphere they bring to the table is lost in translation. At the risk of sounding anti-success, I have to say that I vastly prefer the Direct Hit! shows I’ve seen in packed venues, where there’s no barrier and you’re constantly at risk of a stagediver landing on top of you. I don’t even like stagedivers but some bands just call for it in order to get the full experience and Direct Hit! is absolutely one of those bands. That’s not to say they didn’t deliver a quality performance full of energy across an eclectic, discography-spanning setlist (because that would be a lie) but punks have a tendency to get greedy about their favorite bands from time to time and I’m afraid I’m no exception.

Invaluable: at Katacombes, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
Taking a break from the plentiful pop punk of the weekend to catch the much heavier Invaluable from Virginia Beach turned out to be a great decision. As much as I’d been enjoying all of the other bands we’d seen, there was something missing that I found in Invaluable’s shred-heavy, slightly sludge-y melodic punk sound. Once again Pouzza had me covered in terms of variety, and the three-man band’s killer gang vocals complemented their stylized thrashing perfectly and left me feeling satisfied on the metalcore front… for at least a little while.

Big D And The Kids Table: at The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
As a lifelong ska fan, I have to admit that I was unapologetically excited to see Big D And The Kids Table open up the pit just as it started to get dark in Montreal. 2007’s Strictly Rude was actually one of the first albums I bought with my own money after discovering them on the Asian Man Records’ Ska Is Dead comp, so getting to throw down and skank to “Noise Complaint” along with such a huge crowd took me on a nostalgia trip right back to high school (in the best way, if there is such a thing). Pouzza Fest has always been kind to ska when setting their lineup and this year was no exception. Of course Canadian punk has a long, proud ska history itself and I have to admit that I am consistently impressed at just how diehard their diehard fans are. In terms of performance, Big D And The Kids Table have been at this for so long they’re total professionals these days, and I don’t know if they could put on a bad show if they tried.

Bike Tuff: at Katacombes, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19 (by Lorien Lamarr)
Will caught whatever stomach bug was going around and had to skip a set, so I’m filling in. Kamea was one of my favorite records of 2016, but even if you’ve never heard a single Bike Tuff song, you’d feel like an old friend returning home at any Bike Tuff set. I haven’t been to the Midwest since I was fifteen, but I feel like an honorary member of the Midwest scene at a Bike Tuff show. The crowd is the enthusiastic fifth member of the band. When you have a hundred voices screaming “Did you forget about me?”—that really takes gang vocals to a new level. I think it’s the hopeful mood of the surface-level bitter-sad songs that keeps everyone coming back. If that desire to retain your grip on hope feels familiar, you belong at a Bike Tuff set, but honestly, if you show up you belong and that’s goddamn beautiful.

Sincere Engineer: at Foufounes Électriques, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
Let me preface this by saying that I have never, ever seen a crowd go as hard for Sincere Engineer as the packed room in front of the Foufs main stage did at Pouzza Fest 9. Last year frontwoman Deanna Belos played by herself, but it would seem the days of Sincere Engineer solo sets are gone as the four-piece have the Rhombithian setlist pretty much down to a science now. Having been on the Sincere Engineer hype train from pretty early on it’s impressive how much their fanbase has grown in just a few short years. They have always defied easy classification into any of the major punk genres but it’s been incredible watching Belos develop as both a performer and a lyricist/vocalist/guitarist. The band even premiered a brand new track at the end of the set, clearly Alkaline Trio-inspired and full of trademark Red Scare gruffness but still wholly unique. If the rest of the album sounds that good, we all need to start preparing now.

Mountain: at Katacombes, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
If I’d gone into their set blind I never would’ve suspected Bong Mountain hailed from the frozen land of Grand Rapids, Mich. and not somewhere warm and sunny. I can easily imagine listening to their debut album on repeat during a weekend beach trip, but they exist just slightly outside the pop punk spectrum with guitars just a little too noodley and their song structures just a little too varied to be nearly pigeonholed into that box. Still, the crowd at Katacombes had clearly come specifically to see Bong Mountain, as people were doing backflips (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) off of the stage and into the crowd almost immediately. The area right in front of the stage resembled nothing so much as an impromptu human pyramid as waves and waves of punks leaped and clambered over each other in an effort to sing right into the faces of the band members themselves. We’d all been playing it cool and conserving energy in preparation for our evening’s must-sees, and almost universally it seemed we all decided that now was the time to let it all out for Bong Mountain.

Ramoms: at Café Cléopâtre, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19
Are the Ramoms a gimmick band? Yes, of course they are, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have all the stage presence and musical ability of the band they’re named after and then some. Let’s face it, The Ramones were never considered one of the greatest punk bands of all time because of how well they could sing or play their instruments, and in this category at least, The Ramoms have them beaten in my opinion. Still, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery, so adaptation must be up there as well. The Ramoms were the last stop of my night, and as far as closers are concerned it would be hard to top hearing some of the songs that first got me into punk but with fresh twists on them; for example how the four moms transformed the Ramones classic “Judi Is a Punk” into “Gritty Is a Punk,” a love song to the giant orange nonbinary icon, avowed antifa member, and current Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot Gritty.

The Dopamines: at Katacombes, Pouzza Fest, 5/18/19 (by Lorien Lamarr)
Will was once again down with the sickness, but luckily for me, with the exception of gluten, I have an iron stomach impervious to any illness. I say “luckily,” but I suppose that’s a matter of perspective. I love The Dopamines, but a Dopamines show is uncannily like giving your fun uncle who gets mean when he’s drunk a microphone… except there’s four of him. It’s like being consensually verbally abused in a quid pro quo exchange for earwormy punk. For an added twist, although their lyrics are often still angry, they are also introspective and honest, which always makes me wonder, “How much of this stage behavior is bravado or do they really live that stark of a dichotomy everyday?” True to form, The Dopamines brought three beers a piece on stage with them and greeted the audience with, “Why aren’t you all at Iron Reagan, you posers. We’re The Dopamines from Ohio. Fuck you,” and launched into a set heavy in tracks from Tales of Interest. The audience, myself included, cheered. Two songs in, when we were still there, one of those beers was spat directly at us, almost like a dare to stay. Not only did we stay, that was when the pit opened up. Punk don’t back down from a dare.


Rayner: at Foufs Garage, Pouzza Fest, 5/19/19

Rayner from Las Vegas has been on the periphery of my awareness for awhile now, but Pouzza Fest was the first opportunity I got to see them play live and I’ll be honest: over the course of a twenty-ish minute set I completely fell in love. Their specific brand of pop punk isn’t the frenetic high-energy speedway that’s come to be defined by the genre, instead their songs invite the listener to slow down and consider the world around them. This is particularly true of my favorite track off of their 2017 release Disasters, the cleverly named “Blurred Limes” which challenges our modern day notion of success and offers an alternative: “live your life like it’s one big show.” Unendingly humble and grateful to Pouzza Fest for having them all the way out from Las Vegas, Rayner closed their set with a hilarious tongue-in-cheek cover of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” that was still an absolute bop and caught the crowd up with its infectious energy.


Guerilla Poubelle: at The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/19/19
It’s never easy to write about a band that sings in a language you don’t speak, but French anarcho punks Guerilla Poubelle have crafted such a clear thesis statement between their music and message that even a casual listener can grasp the gist of what they’re trying to say: namely to wake up, see the world around you, and acknowledge the way it and the people who live in it are being treated by those in power. It was a message that Pouzza Festers were more than willing to listen to, as hundreds gathered in the pouring rain to bask in the group’s gravel-mouthed vocals and driving guitars. It was the first time in my life I’ve ever seen a mosh pit full of umbrellas, which struck me as very fitting for a band that deals in existential philosophy as much as Guerilla Poubelle does.

Andrew W.K.: The Beer Garden, Pouzza Fest, 5/19/19
When I saw the full lineup announcement for Pouzza Fest I was excited for a lot of reasons, but I was only surprised for one: Andrew W.K.’s name at the top of the headliner list. Pouzza has always managed to grab one or two headliners that completely defy expectations, but seeing Andrew W.K. play an outdoor beer garden in the middle of downtown Montreal was an experience I knew I wanted to be a part of. Looking back on it now, I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint in the slightest. With a thunderous sound setup, a professionally-designed and coordinated light show, and no less than four guitarists all shredding at one time, what other set could compare to the sheer party energy that Andrew W.K. brings everywhere he goes? When we talk about punk, I think it’s important to remember that sometimes we have to throw our heads back and scream, and there’s no one Pouzza Fest could have gotten to better remind us of that than Andrew W.K.

The Penske File: at Foufounes Électriques, Pouzza Fest, 5/19/19
Just hours before their Pouzza Fest set, The Penske File discovered that their van (along with all of their gear and personal belongings) had been stolen from where they were parked behind Foufs. The call went out, with images of the missing van and all of their gear quickly spreading all over social media in the hopes that anything would turn up. Despite these tremendous setbacks, The Penske File would not be deterred. They borrowed gear from other bands, took the stage as expected, and delivered one of the most incredible sets of pure, undiluted pop punk I have ever seen. Seemingly channeling all of their frustrations and anxieties inwards, all three members, jumped, lunged, and roared with a passion that I’ve never seen from them before. I have said before that The Penske File is the only presently touring punk band that is entirely made up of frontmen, and nowhere was that more on display than on Foufs’ main stage on the third night of Pouzza Fest.

Kill Lincoln: at Café Cléopâtre, Pouzza Fest, 5/19/19
Any time hometown ska heroes Kill Lincoln from Washington, D.C. play I do my damndest to be there front and center, and I wasn’t about to let Pouzza Fest be the exception to that rule. Even with some of their regular lineup missing in action, Kill Lincoln still treated the late-night Café Cléopâtre to a full set of good old-fashioned East Coast ska punk. If you’ve ever wondered what Less Than Jake would sound like if they’d had a hardcore phase, you should absolutely check out Kill Lincoln. They are one of the most innovative and hard-working ska punk bands out there now, and in a world where ska is mostly treated as a punch line, they’re worth defending. Ska MVP award for Pouzza Fest goes to trombone player Yasutaka Umemoto, who dominated the stage with some of the most impressive vertical jumps I’ve ever seen.

MakeWar: at Katacombes, Pouzza Fest, 5/19/19
And finally, after three days of an absolutely unreal Pouzza Fest experience, I was fully ready to close out the weekend with some MakeWar singalongs. The NYC three-piece was more than ready to acquiesce, launching into their set with little preamble (“We decided not to get drunk before our set and I think we did a pretty good job. We didn’t succeed, but we did a pretty good job.”) but plenty of energy. It seemed like they’d been storing it all up over the course of the fest, and now it was ready to be unleashed upon the Katacombes crowd in one furious assault of fast guitar, heavy bass, and pounding drums all almost drowned out by the strength of Jose and Edwin’s dual vocal prowess. For the last time of the weekend I watched the crowd go wild for an absolutely incredible band, and the longer the set went on the more we all collectively fought against its inevitable conclusion, perfectly willing to live in this moment as long as we could.


Will Malkus is a writer, librarian, and concert photographer based out of Baltimore, Md. You can check out his photography and writing portfolios at charmcorephoto.com/.



Women in the Scene Panel @ The Beer Garden
Anti-Harassment Seminar and Q&A with Shawna from War On Women @ The Beer Garden
Cold Wrecks @ Foufs Garage
Sarchasm @ Foufs Garage
Choked Up @ Foufounes Électriques
Bad Cop/Bad Cop @ The Beer Garden
Early Riser @ Foufounes Électriques
Save Ends @ Foufs Garage
Abertooth Lincoln @ Turbo Haüs
Dead Bars @ Katacombes
Arms Aloft @ Katacombes
Spanish Love Songs @ Katacombes

Grand Slam 4 Baseball Tournament @ Lafontaine Park
The Anti-Queens @ The Beer Garden
Alex Brown and the Hepcats @ The Beer Garden
Walt Hamburger @ Théâtre Sainte-Catherine
Direct Hit! @ The Beer Garden
Invaluable @ Katacombes
Big D and the Kids Table @ The Beer Garden
Bike Tuff @ Katacombes (by Lorien Lamarr)
Sincere Engineer @ Foufounes Électriques
Bong Mountain @ Katacombes
Ramoms @ Café Cléopâtre
The Dopamines @ Katacombes (by Lorien Lamarr)

Rayner @ Foufs Garage
Guerilla Poubelle @ The Beer Garden
Andrew W.K. @ The Beer Garden
The Penske File @ Foufounes Électriques
Kill Lincoln @ Café Cléopâtre
MakeWar @ Katacombes

Eden Kittiver Photo Column – Alice Bag featuring Bad Cop/ Bad Cop

Eden Kittiver Photo Column – Alice Bag featuring Bad Cop/ Bad Cop

Eden Kittiver Photo Column – Alice Bag featuring Bad Cop/ Bad Cop

(click for full size)

My friends in Bad Cop/ Bad Cop were kind enough to get me and my camera into this super cool show where they opened for the one and only Alice Bag! It was such an awesome experience to finally see Alice Bag live and I truly had a blast. It only got better when she Bad Cop/ Bad Cop joined her on stage to sing a song off her new album, Blueprint.


Featured Record Reviews from Razorcake Issue 100: Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Aye Nako, Career Suicide, Crom, Crooked Bangs, Drakulas, Lost Balloons, RVIVR

Bad Cop / Bad Cop

BAD COP / BAD COP: Warriors: CD
After incessant touring, one member’s battle with substance abuse, and a garbage human being elected president, Bad Cop has returned with eleven songs that are dagger sharp. There is so much concentrated power and vitriol on this record compared to their debut full length, Not Sorry. The first track “Retrograde” kicks off with laughter before Stacey Dee’s gruff yet melodic voice screams through. Singing duties are largely left to Stacey on this record, but there are a few helmed and written by Jennie Cotterill and Lihn Le. Those tracks from the latter two ladies fit right in with the themes of not backing down, demanding equality, denouncing domestic violence, and highlighting issues of body dysmorphia. Bad Cop is not afraid of being angry and loud about it, all the while accompanied by powerful guitar riffs, breakneck speed, and heavy beats. “Amputations” slows things down quite a bit but might be my favorite track. It’s an anthem for being a badass and pushing past the bullshit parts of life. Plus it has this rad lyric coupling: “Run along, find some other prey / break a tooth on my thick skin.” Some other major standouts on this record are “Wild Me,” “I’m Done,” and “Brain Is for Lovers,” which all quickly became earworms. Everything about this record is stepped up a notch. It’s one of the first collections of songs in this terrible administration that staunchly promotes feminist values with a message and voice that I absolutely prescribe to. This record is strong as hell—slightly over polished in parts, but that’s just how you get a diamond. Well that and amassed pressure and heat, which this band clearly knows how to handle. –Kayla Greet (Fat)

AK-47: Burn the Rats Out: CD
This band has been a part of the fabric of my local scene almost as long as I have lived here (going on a quarter century now). It always puts a smile on my face to know that AK is still angrier than all of us, and have no qualms about giving you an earful. While it is a reoccurring theme with the band, it feels like police violence and oppression are taking center stage here. From the front cover photo of riot cops on fire, to the opening song “When Pigs Fly,” the message is clear. Fuck the police, fuck oppression, fuck cancer, and fuck you if you make excuses. This is as hardcore as it gets. Blasting riffs and beats to match the intensity in the vocals. Thirty-one songs in forty-one minutes! Full disclosure, this is a small city and these guys are friends of mine, but I was reviewing their bands long before I knew them, and it would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to share one of the best political hardcore punk bands I have ever heard. –Ty Stranglehold (Self-released, ak47hardcore.blogspot.ca)

ANTiSEEN: Obstinate: LP
Obstinate is the first ANTiSEEN full-length since the tragic death of the band’s cofounder, guitarist Joe Young. Mad Brother Ward does a terrific job of filling the shoes of Young by retaining Young’s signature sound, while adding twists that are all his own. To say that ANTiSEEN bounced back from heartbreak is an understatement, as this album is as vital as any in their extensive catalog. The LP version is on TKO and the CD version is on Mystery School. The vinyl ends with a lock groove that repeats the title of the album over and over, a hilarious treat for those of us who can’t get enough of one of the most unique voices in the history of punk. The packaging is fantastic, with a giant poster included with the beautiful marbled grey vinyl. The current band lineup puts on a mind-numbingly fierce live show, and these new songs fit in well with the nearly thirty-five years of ANTiSEEN’s back catalog. Stunning from start to finish, Obstinate smashes any and all notions that bands can’t sustain vivacity over extensive time periods. ANTiSEEN isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and if this record is any indicator, they’ll continue to write instant classics year after year. –Art Ettinger (TKO)

AYE NAKO: Silver Haze: CD
It’s really difficult to review an album with so many layers of intentional magic moving through each part of it. Silver Haze opens with an intro that feels like an art installation, mixing children’s voices in conversation with ambient sounds, rhythm, and the echoes of awkward laughter. Those echoes of youth and unease, mixed with brilliant forward-propelling energy, set up the tone and intention of the songs that follow. They’re brooding and blunt with verses that fall into choruses that fall into sparkling instrumentals and hard stops, making for imaginative soundscapes rather than basic knuckle dragging bullshit. It may take you a minute to digest. It also may not be for you. Imagine Sonic Youth raised a crew of queer babes who grew up and made them irrelevant. Imagine the hard boundaries between emo and punk and indie were burned down and replaced with porous, astrological space filled with potential and prisms that reflect and redirect on new planes. Highly recommend. –Candace Hansen (Don Giovanni)

BROMURE: A La Roquette: 7”
Before Rixe were a band, and before Lion’s Law took off, there was a mostly under-the-radar Parisian band called Maraboots that played with the styles of early French oi and punk in a way that was catchy and exciting. Members went on to form the aforementioned bands and a few others and have gone to receive considerable praise for their efforts. Maraboots always held a special place in my heart that was never quite filled by their later projects (as much as I enjoy them), and this is as close to that Maraboots style which that group of people has come to in the last several years. The songs are catchy but not anthemic; they’re cold without sounding sparse. The saxophone on the songs rounds out the sound in that distinctly French way (though many have tried, no one outside the originating country of the oi sax has ever really nailed it like they have). Highly recommended. –Ian Wise (UVPR, uvpr.fr)

CAREER SUICIDE: Machine Response: CD
Thanks to the fanatical alt-right declaring war on America, there now exists an ineluctable eventually: Demented Donny’s Internment Camps for Dissidents. Which likely means I’m going to be calling Canada “home” soon. And that’s fine by me; I’m hyperborean and Canada has great pike fishing and good beer. They also have a long history of punk bands that, with one power chord, can ignite a case of spontaneous human combustion under every “Make America Great Again” clown hat out there. Imagine that glorious fire of dumb blubber. Anyway, when I settle in to my new Canadian digs, I’ll want to know: has Career Suicide crept under the radar in their home country the way they seem to have in “great again” America? Is it possible that a band so gut-punchingly awesome is something of a red-headed step-sibling to Fucked Up—a Canuck band very much on radars in the lower forty-eight and, rightfully, a band very much adored? Less arty than modern day FU, Career Suicide has the anxious feel of a pier six brawl getting wildly out of hand. They do early ‘80s-flavored hardcore in a viciously unsentimental way that kicks your knee caps off before choking you with the panty hose of your own punk pretensions. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m going with it. Fans of ‘80s hardcore bands like BGK and Articles Of Faith, as well as newer bands like Regulations and OFF!, take note. In this era of the Kali Yuga where Dumb is King and piss-simple tweety thoughts resonate, I’ll say this: punk rock was made for times like this and Career Suicide is as good a soundtrack for anarchy as anything. Long live the Demented Child King! Death to Fanatics! Hail Eris! –Aphid Peewit (Deranged, derangedrecords.com)

CAT PARTY: Rest in Post: LP
This is not your typical Hostage Records release. Nowhere to be found are the shredding odes to getting fucked up on the beach. Is it post-punk? It’s post-punk. Cat Party are a post-punk band (I think). Intensely driving songs with shimmering guitar and ethereal vocals about loneliness and internal turmoil (I think). The more I listen to this, the more I hear the Hostage Records shining through. I think about some of the So-Cal hardcore bands that embraced a band like Joy Division as much as Black Flag. T.S.O.L., and Rikk Agnew’s solo stuff come to mind instantly. Cat Party don’t sound like those bands, but they have a distinct vibe, and I can’t get enough. When I was a dumb punk kid (as opposed to an alleged punk adult?) I remember the joke was that we listened to The Cure, Bauhaus, and Joy Division as a way to get with girls. The truth is, I ended up loving each of those bands, but I think I like Cat Party more than all of them. This has become one of my favorite Hostage Records releases, and I am a bit of a super fan. I cannot recommend this enough! –Ty Stranglehold (Hostage)

CROM: The Cocaine Wars 1974–1989: CS
Los Angeles’s Crom has been kicking around for decades now in several incarnations. The earlier years saw them as a shermed-out Anal Cunt drinking Steel Reserve for sustenance with blissful ignorance to the words “song” and “structure.” Singles, splits, and compilations were released left and right and then for quite some time: nothing. That is until the year 2001 when their creative dam blew its wad and out gushed The Cocaine Wars: a full length of monolithic proportions which I can only describe as the result of group sex between the genres of metal, doom, thrash, and powerviolence. This masterpiece of an album originally released in 2001 on Pessimiser and pressed only on the now deader than dead CD format. Cocaine Wars was the band’s figurative debutante ball where they emerged as beautiful, sophisticated “artists” displaying their newfound maturity in writing memorable riffs, discernable lyrics, and stringing the album together with a smorgasbord of Easter eggs and samples from Conan films all while donning Slayer, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, and even Doobie Brothers T-shirts and patches because their hessian, metal, and classic rock roots will always show. A total of thirty songs and “sorta” songs that spread their cheeks at the underground music world and anyone else who takes themselves seriously. I do realize that the cassette, too, is a dead format but just listen to this and tell me if you’d rather party with someone blaring these tunes from a rusted old Cadillac’s tape deck or from a cell phone synched to a Prius. Take a bow, Crom. –Juan Espinosa (To Live A Lie / Snow Goat)

Heavy, shadowy, possessed-sounding post-punk; you just gotta look at the cover to know exactly what you’re getting into. It’s deep red and black and seemingly stolen from some kind of forgotten ritual—the cover photo, that is, but if you can imagine the aural equivalent to that description, that’s what this record sounds like. I know it seems like “dark post-punk” could describe half the DIY bands starting in hip urban centers these days, but this has something more to it, something almost industrial in its forcefulness. There’s some sort of seething, brooding, melodic power in this. Also, a lot of the lyrics are in French. This is the coolest fucking thing I’ve heard in a while. –Indiana Laub (Nervous Intent, nervousintent.com)

I love the Drakulas. You love the Drakulas. If you don’t already love the Drakulas, stop reading, insert a bookmark here, dash down to the record store, and come back once you have decided to love the Drakulas. Seriously, we need certain ground rules here, and chief among them is that EVERYONE MUST LOVE THE DRAKULAS. What’s not to love? You get fresh slabs of that taut Texan surgical punk that has been lacerating the world’s foreheads for the last twenty years or so, coupled with a freshly ancient viewpoint of metropolitan fantasy degeneracy; fuck you, it’s what’s for dinner. Now that you love the Drakulas (or have stopped reading, possibly to take more opioids and march into the sea to your overdue doom), let us discuss the exact artifact up for review. Whilst the conceptualist in me would have loved to see a “VHS”/”Betamax” 45 (both being songs off the spectacular Raw Wave album, which you either love by now or left behind unopened as you marched into the sea earlier in this paragraph), I must admit that “VHS” + three non-LP tunes was likely a more productive way to go. All three of the new tunes—”Masculine Odor,” “Inside Honey” and “D.R.A.X.”—are as good as anything but the very best Raw Wave tracks, and the platter’s silent underside features a silkscreen of the band’s logo, and how can you not own a record where one whole side of it is your new favorite band’s logo? You’re not pulling your weight, dick. Limited to 350 copies to ensure obedience. BEST SONG AND SONG TITLE: “Masculine Odor.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The Drakulas logo kind of looks like the logo of that band Dirty Looks who were on Stiff around 1980, but more droplet-o-centric. ­–Rev. Nørb (Stiff Hombre, stiffhombre.bandcamp.com)

DREAM PROBE: Demo 2017: CS
Full of rage, smarts, and tasteful riffage, Champaign, Ill. trio Dream Probe are holding it down for fast hardcore in a suburb known for sweaty emo boys. I love that Dream Probe’s songs are heavy and short. Vocalist Olguie sings totally in Spanish about political and personal subjects—such as Puerto Rican colonization and queer experience—and a lyric sheet is included. The tape flows together well and the songs are interesting and frenetic rather than static or formulaic. For fans of Poison Idea or Die Kreuzen or the current Get Better Records catalog. –Candace Hansen (Prescience Tapes)

F.C.D.N. TORMENTOR: Dungeon Days 1982-1985: LP + CD
Sometime in 1984 I attended a garage party in a condo behind Cal State L.A.’s campus. What was odd was the crowd—long-haired “metal” kids wearing Discharge shirts. Still, I braced for serious Maiden worship from the band, Tormentor, and, right as rain, the first tune’s intro had all the “metal” ear markings one had come to expect. After a minute or so of that, however, the tune devolved into this ROOOOOAAAAAAARRRRRR of chaos and blinding speed, flying fingers, flailing arms, and guttural howls. Subsequent songs followed the same pattern, played at velocities that would make D.R.I. piss their pants. It was insane. When drummer Ralo later moved on to hyper-thrash pioneers No Comment, Tormentor’s wild tempos finally made sense, but at the time no one played that goddamned fast, especially a bunch of metal kids. Despite markedly influencing many of their peers, they remained in the underground until they finally disbanded in the ‘90s. Collected here are recent recordings of vintage tunes from their oeuvre, performed by the band’s core members. The tempos are dialed down a wee bit from their glory days, which means they’re working at early D.R.I. tempos when they get a good head of steam going. The deluge of bands that have followed in their wake may temper much of what made them so singular, but it’s clear here they remain a fuckin’ behemoth of a band and still one of the best at this genre. Add some kickass packaging and a bonus CD of additional tuneage and you have yourself a party, kids. Dunno if this is a one-off, but, if you’re a fan of the genre, this is prime-pickin’s here. Much love to these local pioneers, who are long overdue some propers. –Jimmy Alvarado (F.O.A.D., foadrecords.it)

GAY KISS: Rounded Down: 7”
Arizona’s Gay Kiss called it quits at the record release show for Rounded Down. It’s a shame, but, fortunately, these four songs capture the band’s stampeding energy. Right out of the gate, “Conceit” sets the tone and prepares the listener for more relentlessly savage hardcore, with a dollop of noise. Alongside Chest Pain, Nasa Space Universe, and Impalers, Gay Kiss should be lauded for crafting hardcore that spits in the face of boring, and at about eight minutes, Rounded Down left me gobsmacked for the entire duration. Pick this one up before it disappears. –Sean Arenas (Sorry State, sorrystaterecords.com / Blast House)

LILLINGTONS, THE: Project 313: 7”EP
It’s been a long time coming, but the Lillingtons are back with new material. So long, in fact, it feels weird to even write it. So, let’s go back a bit, shall we? It’s 1998 and I’m in a local record store in Ottawa. I end up leaving with a copy of their Shit out of Luck LP, never having heard the band, simply because of the B-Face artwork on the cover and description on the label. Putting the needle on the record when I got home, I instantly knew it was going to be a game-changer. And it was; that album was huge for me, no question: the perfect high school record. I was getting pretty knee-deep in garage and hardcore at the time, but I loved my Lookout! Records bands. The Lillingtons never made it big by any means, but they were highly influential. In their next phase of “spy” punk, if you will, there was band after band trying to copy what they did (with Death by Television and The Backchannel Broadcast, specifically). But those were weird times, too. Pop punk all but went into hiding in the early-to-mid-2000s. Either way, after a few reunion appearances (including a Montreal gig I had to miss due to my own band playing Japan), they’ve given us some new work, and it’s far from a letdown. It’s quite impressively solid. The production is a bit on the beefy side for me, but I’m a weirdo that likes guitars that sound like they were recorded in a trashcan, so what do I know? People will love it. –Steve Adamyk (Red Scare)

LOST BALLOONS: “Liquor Store” b/w “Dirty Sandy”: 7”
There is seemingly no end to the magic of Jeff Burke’s music. Lost Balloons is his partnership with Yusuke Okada and they unleashed their slice of pop heaven on the world with 2015’s self-titled debut album. Here we are a couple of years later with a brand new LP and this two song 7”. “Liquor Store” is a Burke song that could fit in with any of his outfits. It’s raw and beautiful. The flip is “Dirty Sandy,” an Okada song that first appeared on their debut album but in a completely different form. I’ve listened to them back to back, and they barely resemble the same song. Good thing both versions are great! I love this band, and you probably will too! –Ty Stranglehold (Wild Honey, wildhoneyrecords.bandcamp.com)

OBNOX: Niggative Approach: LP
Genre bending at its finest. Lamont Thomas, the one-man band that is Obnox, creates a deep, heady stew of noise, punk, funk, hip-hop, and R&B that is somehow polished as much as it is complete chaos. The album opens with a sample from Negative Approach’s John Brannon—hence the play on the album title and song title—and slowly, song by song, steeps into a deep trance of thick bass, a spattering of horns, keyboard synth, and Parliament-esque funk. It’s punk yet also completely not punk, and it’s dumbfounding how seamlessly lines get blurred. This particular album continues Thomas’s evolution into broad, spacey territory that is undeniably diverse. It can speak to many different audiences, and it’s totally enthralling. –Camylle Reynolds (12XU)

RVIVR: “The Tide” b/w “Shaggy”: 7”
Name a more dynamic songwriting duo than Erica Freas and Mattie Jo Canino? This single is a fucking banger, aesthetically somewhere between the intentional poetics of Beauty Between and the punk rawness of The Joester Sessions. Fans of Erica Freas’s work may recognize some overlap between her solo record and this 7”, but in ways that touch not leap. The songs breathe; they’re driving and personal, with that complex energy that RVIVR brings like no one else. It feels like you got a page ripped out of a shared notebook filled with memories and new moon intentions, drenched in raindrops, coffee stains, and the will to go on. The only mystery here is what the hell is that street sign on the cover? –Candace Hansen (One Brick Today)

I’m a straight sucker for the new wave of weirdo lo-fi punk peddled by labels like Total Punk and Neck Chop. The cover looks like it was drawn by a three year old, no info apart from six tracks of out-there lo-fi punk. Think early Angry Samoans, Spits, and any number of no-mark Killed By Death bands from Nasty Facts to the Red Squares. Twenty years from now, speccy nerds are going to be paying big bank for this absolute smoker of a single. Trust me. –Tim Brooks (Neck Chop, neck-chop-records.myshopify.com)

THISCLOSE: What Glory?: 7”
Seriously, this band drives me crazy. Reasonably convincing d-beat stuff, well recorded, got the whole Discharge layout thing down solid. Nice guitar tone, all that—it’s good. And then the vocalist, Rodney, comes in and ruins the entire thing with his craaaazy, absolutely painful Twisted Sister falsettos. It alters what is an arguably good record into an unlistenable one. I generally try not to bag on a band for purely sonic reasons—that shit’s all relative, and being in a band is hard, and putting out records costs a lot of money. But for the love of all that is holy, Rodney, please consider a different singing style, buddy. Please. –Keith Rosson (SPHC)

All of these reviews and many, many more are printed in a handy-dandy zine that you can subscribe to at a reasonable price, delivered to your door. Click the link below.

[shopify embed_type=”collection” shop=”razorcake.myshopify.com” product_handle=”subscriptions”]

Bad Cop / Bad Cop Tour Photo Essay by Eden Kittiver

Bad Cop / Bad Cop

In the summer of 2017, I had the opportunity to tour the country on Warped Tour with the Fat Wreck Chords four piece, Bad Cop / Bad Cop. I’ve been photographing punk bands for about four years and have a passion for working with influential, feminist bands; so, this really was the perfect opportunity for me!

I had only met the girls in Bad Cop / Bad Cop a couple times before joining them on the road. After shooting their set at a local show in February, Stacey Dee (guitar and vocals) called me about using the photos on the back of their upcoming album, Warriors. Shortly after that conversation, I was invited to document their seven-week festival tour through America.

As much as I wanted to steer away from commercial, money-hungry punks, Warped Tour is an opportunity that’s hard to turn down. I graciously accepted, and I’m so glad I did! I had the time of my life travelling with Bad Cop / Bad Cop and it was an honor to be a part of such a hardworking group of individuals.

The following photos encapsulate some of my favorite memories from this summer.

June 15, 2017 – Seattle, Wash.

When we arrived in Seattle on Thursday morning to check into the festival and receive our laminates. Jennie told us a story from when she was in elementary school playing “backwards people.” She and her friend put their jackets on backwards and were laughing so much they both missed the bus to go home. Naturally, this story inspired us to all be backwards people and record a video for Instagram, but it took so much longer than expected because we couldn’t stop laughing! Moral of the story: backwards hoodies are hilarious no matter how old you are.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: Jennie and Stacey laugh while wearing their hoodies backwards in the rain.

June 18, 2017 – Oregon

After only two show days on the tour, we had three days to drive from Oregon to New Mexico. All that driving was making us a little stir crazy, so we pulled off at a rest stop where Linh showed off her most impressive gymnastic tricks (to which I followed with a measly cartwheel). On our way back to the bus, we found this adorable white picket fence, and the girls posed pretending it was their own backyard.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: The members of Bad Cop/ Bad Cop strike a pose behind a rose garden and white picket fence at a rest stop in Oregon.

June 20, 2017 – Arches National Park, Utah

On our third consecutive day off, we spent some time in Moab, Utah for laundry and brunch. Then we got to drive through and explore Arches National Park! We didn’t have much time for hikes that day, and it was so hot we wouldn’t have wanted to, but the views were absolutely breathtaking. Although it was inopportune due to the busy schedule on Warped Tour, we did our best to see as many sights as possible while on the road!

Bad Cop / Bad Cop

In this photo: The band and crew stop for a photo in front of the beautiful scenery in Arches National Park.

June 23, 2017 – Las Vegas, Nev.

One of my favorite days of the tour was in Las Vegas because even though it was one of the hottest days, Bad Cop’s stage was set up in front of the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel! The girls got in the pool as soon as they got the chance in the morning, and stayed in there for most of the day. Here’s Stacey about to hop in the water before doors opened that morning.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: Stacey strives to be the first one in the pool at The Hard Rock Cafe.

July 16, 2017 – Columbia, Md.

After a long, humid day in Maryland, everyone on the tour was invited to enjoy the backstage pool at Merriweather Post Pavilion! There was a huge party going on all night, complete with neon pool lights and karaoke! Out of everyone who sang that night, Linh’s performance covering “Ace of Spades” stole the show.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: Linh ends her karaoke performance with a dramatic knee slide into a crowd of friends. Front row, left to right: Isis Queen (Barb Wire Dolls), Monique Powell (Save Ferris), Ron (Love, Hope Strength Foundation), Unknown, Armand Majidi (Sick Of It All), Lisa Johnson (photographer)

July 17, 2017 – Cleveland, Ohio

July 17 was the day of the AP Music Awards in Cleveland, Ohio, but there was a venue change last minute and getting into the awards ceremony became almost impossible. While other bands did their best to get passes last minute, we chose to spend the day at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and make an appearance at the after party that night. Here is a photo of all four girls with Mike Cambra, drummer for the Adolescents, enjoying the sunset over Lake Erie before the party.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: Bad Cop/ Bad Cop and Mike of The Adolescents watch the sunset over Lake Erie, after a day of exploring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

July 18, 2017 – Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

The girls have been asked to sign some pretty weird stuff on this tour. Everything from shoes to shirts to body parts to this plastic, headless doll that Jennie decided to pose with as if it were her body. Everyone in this band is hilarious and constantly doing something to catch me off guard. There are really no “serious” photos of them!

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: Jennie gets weird with a fan’s headless doll after being asked to autograph it.

July 21, 2017 – Auburn Hills, Mich.

One of the greatest things I’ve experienced on this tour was seeing the band interact with young kids who idolize them. These two little punks were hanging out at the side stage all day with their dad, watching bands like Bad Cop/ Bad Cop, Valient Thorr and Suicide Machines. I even saw the little boy singing along to “Die for Your Government” by Anti-Flag! That’s punk parenting done right!

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: Linh strikes a pose with a couple of young punks before their set in Auburn Hills, Mich.

August 3, 2017 – Solvang, Calif.

Four Bad Cops and One Cool Cop. We drove up the coast to Mountain View for the final stretch of the tour and stopped in Solvang for Dutch pancakes and chintzy souvenirs. After parking the bus in a nearby parking lot, a police officer pulled in and rolled down his window, to which we assumed he would tell us we couldn’t park there. To our surprise, he was simply curious what the band was called and expressed his interest in punk rock. He talked to Stacey for about ten minutes and they discovered they had a lot of mutual friends! The girls gave him a copy of their newest CD, Warriors, and got a picture with him before we left for breakfast.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: The band stops for a photo with a member of the Santa Barbara police department, after realizing he had a lot in common with them.

August 3, 2017 – Paso Robles, Calif.

Our last stop on the coast that night. We had a big family dinner in Paso Robles. On our way back to the bus, we saw a small concert in a park, with a live jazz band and people dancing. We stopped there for some time and decided to take a photo in a tiny house by the park. Devito (merch) told the kids currently occupying the house that there were a bunch of spiders, which got them to clear out and run away, so we were able to get in for a quick photo. This was the last group photo we took before Warped Tour was over, and I think it’s the best one we have.

This tour was exhausting for everyone involved, but we were traveling the country and doing what we love with the best group imaginable! This was the adventure of a lifetime, and at the end of the day, I am so grateful to have been crammed into a tiny house with these seven amazing humans.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop
In this photo: Bad Cop/ Bad Cop and crew squeeze into a tiny house in a park in Paso Robles.

Bad Cop / Bad Cop’s Facebook page
Bad Cop / Bad Cop’s website
Eden Kittiver’s website