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Covert Action

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Album Review

The punk nihilistic attitude is surely still evident on the U.S. Bombs' fourth release for Hellcat Records. What's more prevalent, however, is the political tone the album takes in reaction to the events of 9/11 and the sphere of influence involving the federal government. The tune "Framed" is surely a controversial song if there ever was one. In the song, the band suggests that the government was actually responsible for the crime and proceeded to frame Timothy McVeigh. This is followed up by "John Gottie," in which the band believes that the government might be better off run by the mob. Subject matter such as this will no doubt be tough for people to swallow, even some in the punk scene. Musically, though, the band hasn't strayed too far from the sound it has become known for: a dash of the Clash, some street-smart Boston punk (lead singer Duane Peters sounding vaguely similar to Dicky Barrett doesn't hurt the association), the Sex Pistols, and a good number of Hellcat and Fat Wreck bands. The U.S. Bombs certainly can't be faulted for being an engaging and challenging band. This style of punk, while seeming outdated at first listen, reveals itself to have more depth than the traditional '70s punk album possessed. The additional ska influences help spice things up, too. In the midst of its career, it's nice to see a band reinvent itself, whether musically or lyrically. The U.S. Bombs seem to be doing a fine job on both accounts.


Formed: 1993 in Orange County, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

An American punk revival band that draws on classic early British punk for its inspiration, the U.S. Bombs formed with a lineup of vocalist Duane Peters, guitarists Chuck Briggs and Kerry Martinez, bassist Wade Walston, and drummer Chip Hanna. The group signed with Alive and debuted in 1996 with a self-titled EP and the album Garibaldi Guard!, which was followed the next year by Never Mind the Opened Minds. A leap to the Epitaph subsidiary Hellcat later in 1997 produced the album War Birth; 1999...
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Covert Action, U.S. Bombs
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