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US Bombs - We Are The Problem

  by Alex Halls

published: 16 / 4 / 2006

US Bombs - We Are The Problem
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Enjoyable, but instantly forgettable old school punk from durable American group US Bombs, who are back after a threeyear absence

Released on Sailor’s Grave Records, 'We Are The Problem 'is the US Bombs’ new fifteen track album and sees the Bombs return to the music scene after several of the members have produced offspring and a three year absence. New to the aforementioned label, 'We Are The Problem' takes the band’s full-length record count into double figures. Formed in 1994, the five-piece currently consists of: Andy Dahill (bass); Les Stitches (guitar); Jamie Reidling aka Monkey Boy (drums); K-Bomb (guitar) and, last but not least, ‘The Master of Disaster’ Duane Peters (vocals), who has recently concentrated his time on his other bands, the Hunns and the Gunfight. The US Bombs evidently draw inspiration from the more classic British punk bands as many of the tracks have that older touch. Inspiration often seems to come from the Clash on this album. It is fitting that Duane Peters has named his kid Clash Peters: I wonder whether a link here exists. It’s not just the music that has that older punk influence; the band’s past of inner fights and break-ups is testament to this too. All one can say to that is that, at least, energy is there aplenty. What more do you expect from punk? Then, just when you’ve settled down to a consistent album opening, there come moments that are very close to the sound of the Ramones: in 'Don’t Get Me Wrong,' Peters makes reference to 'Rocket From Russia', a Ramones track from the 70s. Furthermore, 'Just Like You' and 'Guns of the West' provide further evidence of these sounds coming through in abundance. Fortunately they don’t impinge on what the US Bombs are creating overall. It all fits in and works in varying the tempo of the album. 'We Are The Problem' explores the US Bombs’ hopes but highlights their failings or, rather, their loss of ambition: let’s hope the newborns didn’t add to this loss. 'Heartbreak Motel' highlights these very feelings, as the lyrics describe the taking of one’s soul, yet the jazz-influenced keyboard underpinning the music gives that sense of hope, even if that hope ends up to be false. Better to hope than to give up completely. We then see the band’s inclination to drink, in 'Hammered Again', which gives further insight into the music. The song really drives 'We Are The Problem' forward, with varied guitaring and an uncanny way of absorbing the listener. The record doesn’t feel particularly new, which is a result of the style adopted by the band. It has glorious moments of old-school punk and mixes these well with far slower tracks, such as 'Tonight', which, as a ballad, could almost have ended the album. 'Cheers' does round the record off and does so with dynamism, a fitting finale given the US Bombs’ general get-up-and-go attitude. 'We Are The Problem' is a good album overall, yet is simply ephemeral: not one that will stick in the memory for long. It’s a guarantee that indented polycarbonate doesn’t do the US Bombs justice; sadly though, given their lack of touring, that’s generally how we are going to have to listen to them.

Track Listing:-
1 We Are The Problem
2 Don't Get Me Wrong
3 Do It Again
4 Revolution Weekend
5 Heartbreak Motel
6 4th Of July
7 Destroy The Nation
8 Hammered Again
9 Last Dischord
10 Just Like You
11 Locked In My Skin
12 Guns Of The West
13 Back Inside
14 Tonight
15 Cheers

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