The economy’s still circling ’round the toilet bowl, the war in the Middle East keeps expanding, and the future is more uncertain than ever. This makes glorious fodder for a great punk record, and Reno’s Cobra Skulls deliver in spades.
Lyrically scathing and musically fist-pumping, American Rubicon picks up where Against Me!’s New Wave left off — diving deep into anger and frustration, while retaining a healthy appreciation for the healing power of a handful of well-placed power chords. The lyrics are fraught with the fear of Big Brother — of a world closing in on itself, and of a country losing sight of what it stands for — but are blessedly delivered with Devin Peralta’s biting yet unpretentious vocals. “There’s A Skeleton In My Military Industrial Closet,” “Rebel Fate,” “H.D.U.I. (Honorary Discharge Under The Influence)” are just a few of the heavy stack of songs that are piled thick with current affair intellectualism that could very easily turn preachy, yet never do. Throughout all of the political commentary, the band never loses sight of their foremost position as a band. In other words, the music never becomes second to the ideology.
Even when tackling xenophobia (“Muniphobia”), overpopulation (“Overpopulated”), or the loss of passion in the music scene (“Back to the Youth”), they do so with unabashed passion. The purity of spirit, and balls-out abandon tossed to the listening masses by this young trio is as invigorating as anything I’ve encountered since discovering Riverboat Gamblers.
Cobra Skulls: www.cobraskulls.com