COBRA SKULLS: Agitations: CD

The Cobra Skulls have become one of the dependable go-tos for catchy political pop punk. Much like Bad Religion, there’s a certain musical consistency they possess while still having a sound that is uniquely them, thanks largely to singer Devin Peralta’s distinct voice (and if you’ve seen them live, his hair). Maybe it’s because this is the band’s first full length on Fat Wreck, but it seems like they turned down the Against Me! and turned up the NOFX/ ‘90s Fat sound. The song “All Drive,” for instance, has a bass intro and main riff that easily could of come from Punk in Drublic. Also, the song “On & On” has backing vocals that brings to mind Lagwagon. While this band has always been defiantly left wing, the lyrics this time around may be their most plain spoken and strident yet. And good for them. “The Mockery” is a favorite, but the band pretty much cannibalized the main riff from their own earlier song, “Rebel Fate.” This band really shines when they stray from their standard sound (like the couple of songs they do in Spanish on their earlier releases) and in this case, the pseudo-acoustic “Believe” that ends the album is the high point. Cobra Skulls are a strong band and this is a good release over all, but songs like “Believe” really showcase the potential this band has at putting out something really next-level-amazing someday.

 –Adrian Salas (Fat)