Home Read Classic Album Review: U.S. Bombs | Covert Action

Classic Album Review: U.S. Bombs | Covert Action

The SoCal punk quintet's fourth album makes you miss Joe Strummer all over again.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


For me, it has always been difficult not to listen to the U.S. Bombs without missing Joe Strummer. The propulsive Covert Action, their fourth Epitaph album, is no different.

Most of the time, this is because this SoCal quintet led by veteran punk and pro skateboarder Duane Peters recall the heyday of ’70s punk with chugging, neck-sliding riffs, walloping beats and anthemic choruses — not to mention Peters’ voice, a harsh bark descended equally from Strummer and Handsome Dick Manitoba. Sometimes, it’s because short, sharp sonic shots like Croatia Breaks, Lab Rats and Majestic 12 contain the sort of political rabble-rousing that was ole Joe’s stock in trade. And occasionally, it’s because Peters does something so disappointing — like titling a song for John Gotti and spelling his name wrong (at least on the initial pressings of this album) or writing a song that appears to claim Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh is innocent — that you sorely miss Strummers’ finely tuned bullshit detector and razor-sharp intellect. Still, you can’t accuse Peters of being afraid to say what he thinks. I think Joe would approve of that. I think you will too.