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Cobra Skulls

Bringing The War Home (EP)

(Fat Wreck Chords; US: 18 Jan 2011; UK: 31 Jan 2011)

Novelty act Atom & His Package have a song that used to amuse me as a teenager called “Punk Rock Academy”, about a school that teaches you how to act the part of a punk rock stereotype. I believe such a place exists, and Cobra Skulls earned at least a two-year degree.

Yes, this is strictly Punk 101. Completely uninspired. Boring. Enjoyed only by kids who like punk for the sake of it being labeled punk. These five songs belong on a lousy $2 compilation put out by some unknown record label and sold at the counter of your local independent record shop. Said record label will dissolve in a few months or a year, and said band will dissolve with it. However, Bringing The War Home is on Fat Wreck Chords, which is, er, legendary I suppose. If you’re 14.

Oh, I want to spew and spit vitriol with all the hate held in my putrid heart, but I’ll try to remain as refined as possible. The rundown: “Doomsday Parade"is a Rancid/Bad Religion hybrid with an inexplicable structure, poor vocal delivery, and ignorant, high school politics; “ICE In The Night” is somewhat cowpunk and entirely uninspired; “Hot Sand” has nice bass work, aping The Exit’s Police/Clash sound, but is strictly for beginners; “Give You Nothing” is passable, if yawn-inducing street-punk that detours into cock rock for what I assume is ironic purposes and “Life In Vain”, which is a shot at blending the Briefs and Dillinger Four, two of my favorite modern punk bands, that misses the mark by miles.


Stephen Rowland has been founding and contributing to numerous underground film and music publications for the last 12 years. In addition to critiquing images and sounds, he makes no money as a regional historian and preservationist, co-authoring "Postcard History Series: Alameda" and "Images of America: Alameda," available from Arcadia Publishing.

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