Album Review: Cobra Skulls – “Bringing The War Home”

The first time I heard Cobra Skulls was in 2008. I was searching iTunes for something new and found “Sitting Army,” their debut album. After reading over the song names, all of them contain the word “cobra”, I figured the music would be as cheesy as their song titles but I sampled some of them anyway. I’m glad that I did because I was pretty excited by what I heard and have been listening to the band ever since.

To me, Cobra Skulls are a bit of a throwback to the punk of the mid nineteen nineties and I mean that as a compliment. The songs are well polished but in no way are they pop-punk, the lyrics are inspired by politics and social injustices and there was something interesting about the vocals. It took me a while to figure out why Devin Peralta’s voice felt so familiar but it eventually hit me. To Me, he sounds a lot like Jack Grisham, not as much from his days in T.S.O.L. but more like he did when he was fronting The Joykiller from ’95 through ’98.

“Bringing The War Home”, a five song e.p. is the group’s first release on Fat Wreck Chords, they signed with the label last March and I must say that I have been looking forward to this album for several months. Now that I have it, I’m both very impressed and slightly let down.  Let me explain…

I’ll start with the positives.

If you like Cobra Skulls, you will like this e.p.. There is not a bad song in the bunch. Lyrically they tackle topics like immigration (“Ice In The Night”), and war (“White Hot Sand” and “Doomsday Parade”) and musically they have never sounded better.

The first song, “Doomsday Parade” and the closer “Life In Vain” are the more rockin’ tracks, similar to some of the songs found on their previous album, “American Rubicon.”

“Ice In The Night” has a slight rockabilly sound to the guitar and “Hot Sand” has a slower verse and faster chorus set up to it. The other song is a very well done cover of “Give You Nothing” by Bad Religion.

Even though they do a great job with the song, the inclusion of it on this e.p. is the reason that I was a bit disappointed with “Bringing The War Home” as a whole. The Cobra Skulls version of “Give You Nothing” has already been released, for free on “Germs Of Perfection: A Tribute To Bad Religion” a few months ago and to me it just seems odd and unnecessary to put it on this album. I guess if you are a big fan and somehow missed the song when it was given away then you will be happy that “Give You Nothing” was added to this release but for me, I would have preferred another Cobra Skulls original song in place of it.

Overall, this is another great Cobra Skulls release and I’m looking forward to hearing their next album. Here’s hoping it’s a full length and not another e.p.

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