Report begins with the slowly picked opening to “Slider” and for about 20 seconds the album breathes in, as if there may be something unexpected at hand. Then like a heart attack the driving power chords, open cymbal beat and soaring melody kick into gear. By the end of the 2-minute track The Copyrights have quelled any fear that they would fall out of step.
One after another the next 13 tracks on Report arrive without frills or fanfare, never wasting time in stating their purpose and moving along. Songs like “Stuck in the Fall” and “Keep the Change” move at breakneck speed, but never sound rushed. Stylistically, there is no other fitting form for the punchy, tight performances. Later in the album “No Knocks” blasts off with a run through its group-sung chorus, delivers two verses about life’s trials and closes with a kick through the same chorus. The no-bullshit approach to making a point has treated The Copyrights well over the years and “No Knocks”’s chorus of “I graduated from the school of no knocks / Now I’m down on my knees asking when will it stop,” shows their ability to combine snark and wisdom where others may sound corny or calculated.
It’s hard to imagine a band that carries on the tradition of true pop-punk better than The Copyrights. They are masters of clever, sonically upbeat songs about the highs and lows of daily life. In keeping the whole operation slim and free of extraneous words, chords or time, The Copyright give Report a vintage sound. The best tracks (“Wishbone”, “Worlds on Fire”, to name a few) necessitate many repeated spins, and even when the tracks don’t grab immediately they retain the concise digestability and charm that makes an album worth coming back to over and over. Another excellent album, and a wildly enjoyable live show are a reminder that The Copyrights are consistently among the best at what they do. Report is one big “hell yeah.”