Sheffield band C.O.P. UK (Crimes of Passion) have dedicated themselves to following in the footsteps of other NWOBHM bands from the North of England in terms of sound and energy. Since forming in 2005, they have gained support from the likes of Saxon frontman Biff Byford who invited them to tour with Saxon in 2011, and have performed at Wacken and Bloodstock open air festivals where they have showcased their arena-sized rock melodies.
For their third album Kiss Of An Angel vocalist Dale Radcliffe and the band have ensured that the music they produce is big, bold, energetic and will appeal to the ardent classic rock fan. Despite being influenced by the likes of Def Leppard, Whitesnake, C.O.P. UK have also managed to imbue their music with a modern sound which helps them stand apart from earlier musical overtones in terms of production and style.
The album opener The Core is a powerhouse track which demonstrates drummer Kev Tonge's natural flair for the music and Radcliffe's God-given ability as a rock vocalist. The heavy duty track Take It To The Grave and ballad No Place For Heaven are two of the strongest songs on the album; filled with some great riffing and addictive melodies which certainly wouldn't look out of place in a stadium. Halo ups the anti with a more metal-based track giving Kev Tonge a chance to flex his muscles and bash out some great rhythms on the skins while Scott Jordan threads the piece together with some speedy bass runs. The tracks frantic and demanding verses are complemented by a tender rock chorus. One In a Million adds some space age keys and a bit of a hardcore metal growl to update the track and Stranger than Fiction shows more of the band's ability to master a slow rock number.
The songs are standard rock belters, if a little wordy in places which can make the melody feel like it's dragging at times; but that's more than made up for in terms of enthusiasm and energy. C.O.P UK clearly love what they do and it shows. If passion was a crime, then these guys are certainly guilty.