The transformation of a punk rocker into a responsible, law-abiding adult usually occurs sometime before the age of 30. American society merely offers an easier, more comfortable state of existence. U.S. Bombs, as made apparent by their press release photo, has moved far past this looming age to continue making their bold punk music.
Headed by renowned skateboarder Duane Peters, U.S. Bombs often infuses their music with a lighter beat than other punk bands, but they successfully even it out with Peters’ one-too-many slur-filled stumble of a voice, giving the music some needed edge.
Covert Action, the band’s fourth release on Epitaph imprint Hellcat Records, has a few tracks that seem a little too light and a little too catchy – a little too formulated, it seems, for mass appeal. Their first single, “Roll Around,” hooked me on the first listen, immediately making me question the purpose of the song as a superficial grab for the listener’s attention. “Youth Goes” has good intent, but equals another overplayed anthem of a confused youth.
“Framed” twists U.S. Bombs anti-government feelings into a different, daring and controversial stance. This song invites controversy, describing the framing of Timothy McVeigh by the American government for the Oklahoma City bombing. They persuade: “Let’s get it straight, a cover up is no accident, evidence isolates … The fingerprint man, a planted witness, military truck in the parking lot … Timothy McVeigh was framed.”
“The Gow,” though, with its unusually paired slow ska-inspired beat with Peters’ deep, dismal voice, is the best track of the record.
The record comes to an oddly assorted end with a Spanish-infused musical diddy in “Faith of Marie.” It then proceeds into the 32-second “American Made,” the six-lined song that leaves you with a refreshingly simple, strong summary of U.S. Bombs’ attitude and album: “1 X 2 = Fuck You, Pissed Off American.”