Circle Jerks, U.S. Bombs, The Applicators: Deep Ellum Live... Dallas, Texas... August 9, 2001 By Roger Moser Jr.

Sep 27, 2001

I thought I'd done died and gone straight to punkrock heaven when I first heard that the frantic and inspirational Circle Jerks were scheduled to thrash through Dallas with the legendary brain-bruising U.S. Bombs. Damn, I was psyched, slobbery-lipped, and spastically euphoric with indefatigable anticipation of attending such a mayhemic musical occasion... the momentum rapidly built to an uncontrollable frenzy... and then, bang-bam-boom, I was there!

Unfortunately, I arrived towards the tail-end of The Applicators incendiary set, but I enthusiastically absorbed their three final songs (which included a raucously crazed cover of the Dead Milkmen's "Violent School"!), and I was one mesmerized motherfucker through it all! Those four curvaceously perfect punk princesses had all of the audial impact of a megaton nuclear explosion... they belligerently blew the roof off the place with their loud'n'lively spine-snappin' sonic furor (think Snap-Her and L7 hyperactively leaping headfirst into a garbage disposal!). My eyes and ears were utterly in awe the entire time...

Next, the U.S. Bombs blazed onto the stage with "Tora!, Tora!, Tora!" and never once let up during their manic and disruptive performance (mostly playing newer material, I damn well do believe). Duane Peters wildly careened across the stage and repeatedly dove into the adoring sweat-drenched crowd below, all the while rhythmically maintaining his caustically perfect, spit-laced pronunciation of each and every syllable (his inimitable, snaggle-toothed vocal trademark, which needs no further explanation!). Throughout their entire set of theatrical sonic chaos, the rest of the Bombs skillfully proved their powerful musical prowess by blasting thick chunks of meaty, brick-heavy instrumentation that furiously pounded my skull into oblivion like a hydraulic Titanic-sized jackhammer rapidly chiseling a new crater into the moon. Yep, Duane Peters and his merry lil' crew of cacophony-makers were thunderously larger than life, and their berserk animated performance will forever remain etched into my brew-knockered old mind. Apparently, a vicious rumor is circulating that this was the Bombs third-to-last ever show... please tell me it ain't so!

And then there was the almighty roaring wrath of the vibrantly spectacular Circle Jerks! After a brief tongue-in-cheek admonition by Keith Morris to the stage security and the multi-aged gathering of spike-dudded punkrock tribes regarding proper stage-diving etiquette at a CJ show, the band kinetically kicked into the energetically endearing "Wild In The Streets" (one of my all-time personal faves, by golly gawddamn!). From that point on, there was absolutely no turning back... it was an exciting whirlwind maelstrom of full-force Circle Jerk fury ranging from the raging one-minute spurts of their "Group Sex" album all the way through to the under-appreciated eloquent aggression of the "Oddities, Abnormalities & Curiosities" disc (including, but certainly not limited to, such volatile molten oldies as "Deny Everything," "Coup D'Etat," "Wonderful," "All Wound Up," "I Wanna Destroy You," and every unholy near-hit in between!). The core members of CJ (Keith Morris, Greg Hetson, and Zander Schloss... along with a brand spankin' new furious-as-fuck drummer) haven't aged a bit physically or musically... their music and their message behind the mayhem is as relevant and vigorously inspiring today as it was twenty years ago. Weeelllll, hello Missus Jones, it's time to dance toe-to-toe with the loose'n'limber Skank Man... I don't work, I'm a slob, and I don't care!