COPE – Challenge Oppression//Pursue Equality

Artist: COPE
EP: Challenge Oppression // Pursue Equality
Release: 11th November 2016

Challenge Oppression // Pursue Equality is the self-released debut EP from the London based punk group COPE, which will be released on 11th November.

From the get go, you can tell that COPE are the archetypal punk band. Their lyrical style and guttural vocals literally scream anti-establishment. As backing vocalist Josh Bowls explained “ If you like punk and you’re pissed off with the way the world is and want to vent some energy, whilst singing along to a catchy tune, then listen to us. We’re the voice of this generation and we’ve been quiet for way too long!” We recently interviewed COPE which you can find it below.

The first two synonyms I found for the word COPE are ‘manage and survive!’ That really seems to sum up the band ethos along with the band’s own motto that forms the title of their EP “Challenge Oppression // Pursue Equality”.

This five track EP is packed to the brim with changing tempos and dynamic rhythms and guitar riffs galore. Matched with the poignant lyrics and guttural screams it makes for one hell of a musical ride. Pretty impressive for a band that has been together for less than a year.

The EP opens with “Seasons Ending”. Starting with sweeping guitars and the main chant “What will we do when there’s nothing left but the ocean?” before the beat drops and you are treated to probably the heaviest track on the EP. Superb use of the guitars on this track, from Ross and Josh, bouncing from the harsh riffs to the brighter melody counterpointing the thought provoking lyrics.

Absolutely love the dropped guitar riffs on the second track “ Voyage” especially the break at the 2 min mark. A much faster galloping track but definitely a track to sing along to “We will come back together. Forgotten. Forever!”

Rising up from the depths emerges track three “Here’s Hoping” the long intro makes this feel like a short track but a great song that demands an instant replay. Soon found myself singing along though to “Here’s hoping that your coping, but I don’t think that I can!”. Seeming like a fusion of Metal and Punk, this track is both fresh but old school sounding with brilliant emotional lyrics.

Track four “Crooks & Thieves” is a fast and furious riff fest with superb drums from Ed. Another track that will have you singing along  “I don’t want to give in but my strength is wearing thin”. Great vocals from Adam on this track and the piano outro certainly took me by surprise.

The last track on the EP is “Now or Never” a great finisher. Huge sounding guitars break into dancing syncopated melodies that enhance Adam’s screaming vocals. Such an energetic piece that the change of tempo, slowing the track, is a welcome break before the final rush to the finish.

If this is what COPE can produce in just a year together I am very excited to see what they do in the future!

(Marcus Halsey)

Recently we had a chance to interview the vocalist Adam Bates just before he was going off to a lovely holiday. Here it is;

Hello, COPE! Thanks for accepting our interview.
First of all, do you mind introducing yourselves? Your names and your roles in the band?

Hello! Thank you for asking to interview us! My name is Adam, I am the vocalist. Along with Josh on Guitar, Ross also on Guitar, Florian on the 4 thick strings and Ed who hits things with sticks!

Thanks Adam. I heard that COPE is less than a year old. Could you tell us how you all met up and became a band?

About now we are actually just over a year old technically, we got together in August 2015.  Josh had reached out for musicians via website and we all got in touch.  It then turned out that 3 of us actually were part of the music scene in the south-west playing the same venues with various bands and I already knew Florian… so we all gelled together quite quickly. 

Great! Who are your influences? Does everyone listen to similar music?

The thing we love about COPE is that we all come from different backgrounds.  We have all played in bands over the years, in varying genres.  Florian and I have toured in punk bands, Josh and Ross played in some really heavy death metal bands, and Ed can pretty much play anything and has done lots of different things.  We all listen to similar music and have a wide taste in music genres. So bringing all these influences together really creates a cocktail of sound for what we are doing.  We love a good riff and we like to play fast, so we are really happy with the music we are writing and no song ever seems the same.

Nice! I think you can feel it from COPE’s music. How do you go about writing your songs? 

Josh has a bank of lyrics which are just amazing.  He writes exactly what we all want to ‘say to the world’ so making use of that is awesome.  Musically, we all get many ideas, and we bring them to practice or whenever we meet up and we put everything together.  It works quite well and we really enjoy it, getting together, having a beer and a laugh and writing music.  That’s what it’s all about for us.

Awesome! Well, you are releasing the debut EP “Challenge Oppression Pursue Equality” shortly which I’m very excited about. How would you describe this EP?

This EP is our message as band…it’s the foundation to what we stand for, and it’s the sound of everything we love about playing in a band and as fans of music in general.
It’s a heavy punk and hardcore cocktail. 

Thanks. The EP is called “Challenge Oppression Pursue Equality”. Is it what you thought from your band name, or is it what COPE stands for?

Yes, that is exactly right.  Our band name and EP name is again, our message as band.

We wanted our first release to outright say the message we want to promote, and our band name will constantly do that anyway hopefully!  Our songs touch serious subjects, but our live performance is still fun and we like to have a laugh.

That’s a great idea, whoever thought it first.
Have you planned a special event for the EP release?

We don’t have a special EP release show unfortunately purely because we have other commitments at the minute, and some of us are away at varying times. 

Okay. Any more shows coming up?

Yeah, we have some gigs being booked, December time and the New Year.

I can’t wait to see you guys live!
Well, is there anything you would like to say?

I think we’d just like to ask people to give our EP a listen, let us know what you think and come join in on the fun!  We are happy to chat to everyone on the social medias and at gigs.  We hope if you do give us a listen that you enjoy it and take some positivity from what we are trying to say and create.

Thank you for your time, and good luck!

Cheers then!!

(Teri Morris)

To find out more about COPE, visit their sites using the links below;



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