numbskullshows.com Presents: Live in The Atrium
Cobra Skulls, Western Addiction, All You Can Eat
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
Watch & Listen
When Devin from the Cobra Skulls sat down to write Agitations, the third Cobra Skulls full length and
first for Fat Wreck Chords, due out Sept. 27, he found himself in a different situation than he'd ever been
in before. I'll let him tell you all about it:
"In the past I've always written songs sporadically and when it seemed as though a song wanted to
write itself, but for our new album, Agitations, the process was a little different because time was a bit
of a constraint… I had less than a month to write an entire album. Solitude was definitely a necessity for
me to write…so I moved into a cheap, dirty, weekly motel in Reno"
The result is thirteen of the most blistering, concise Cobra Skulls songs ever assembled in album form.
Only one track clocks in at over three minutes and as usual, the band is almost incomprehensibly angry
at the world at large. No target is too weird, too outside the normal realm of traditional punk angst for
the Cobra Skulls. Agitations sets its sites on the crumbling economy, our unsustainable auto-obsessed
culture, the xenophobia bred in the post 9-11 political climate, their own families and friends and
prisons that are run like profit-turning businesses. Nothing's spared in the latest from these hyper-
intelligent, incisive, uncompromising, politically charged, lovelorn misanthropes, but that's par for the
course for an album from Reno's favorite sons.
Formed in 2005 in the Biggest Little City in the World, Cobra Skulls began packing basements and
garages around the southwest before catching the attention of Red Scare Industries in 2006, where
they dropped two full lengths and began to make noise on a more national level. Fat Mike eventually
got the message that an angry punk band with an unclassifiable sound that seemed to simultaneously
worship Bad Religion, the Misfits, The Clash, and Mike Ness's rockabilly songs was making the rounds,
so he signed 'em up in a hurry and helped them put out the critically acclaimed 2011 ep Bringing the
War Home. When it was time for a debut Fat Wreck full length, the Cobra Skulls hit Motor Studios in
San Francisco (NOFX, Lagwagon, pretty much everything on Fat from the 90's) to record Agitations, the
results are 13 songs that Fat Mike has since referred to as 'the best' Cobra Skulls album to date. In the
words of Devin: "Every song has a distinct personality. Some are fast, some are mid-tempo… Some songs
sound influenced by blues, rockabilly, pop and some even have hints of jazz, funk and folk, but all songs
are rooted in an old school punk spirit."
The Cobra Skulls are renowned for their nonstop touring and the cycle for Agitations will be no
exception. For starters, they'll be hitting the whole of North America with Nothington, including a stop
at the Fest in Gainesville. After that, you know how it goes. They're going around the world to scream
about the fucked up injustices that plague the world in both English and Spanish. And if you don't
speak either of those? Well, you can just marvel at the seamless blending of punk, ska, blues, jazz and
rockabilly that the Cobra Skulls are known for. Or you can explain how you've read this bio, because
that's pretty impressive too.
Some bands are formed out of necessity. Some are formed out of proximity. Some are formed from both.
Do you remember when punk rock didn't rely on prefixes? Like, you didn't have to say 'streetpunk' or 'crust punk' or "political punk" or 'shit punk' or 'art punk' or 'pop punk'? Simpler, more straightforward times. Not easier times, just times where punk wasn't shoved into smaller and smaller holes. That's what Western Addiction strive for. Fun times. Thinking-while-rockin' times. Pre-MTV musical genocide times. Vital times. Black Flag and Circle Jerks.
Western Addiction ain't a bunch of dummies. Cognicide ('thinking something to death') shows that. It's no 'let's drink a lot of whiskey, meaningfully sway our bullet belts in the faces of fourteen year olds, and sing about smashing the state,' credit card punk. They know the score and they aren't interested in candy coating it. Nor are they blowhard assholes, 'collecting what they're due.' Seriously, the only accolade they hope to not so secretly reap is that this record sells more than thirty copies.
Here's the Cliffs Notes bio: All four members of Western Addiction work at Fat Wreck Chords. That's where they met.
Slightly longer version: All four members have been around punk music for quite awhile. All of them, except Jason, have been, or are currently in, other bands. Yet all four members work, in different capacities, with punk musicians and labels on a daily basis. They all go to shows. They all show their support. They're neck deep America's thriving punk scene.
That said, Western Addiction are realistic, grounded, and paying their way. They just know how to get things done because they already know the ropes. Such knowledge and access has allowed them to play with such punk stalwarts TSOL, The Adicts, The Adolescents, and the Swingin' Utters.
They also move quickly. After the initial time it took the band to gel, recording tracks came in a flurry. Cognicide, their first LP, is their third release. First came a 7', Remember to Dismember (Fat), then a Split 12' EP with New Mexican Disaster Squad (No Idea), followed by a song contributed to Protect: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children.
In 2005, they toured Japan to help support NOFX and vanned down the California coast with Propagandhi. In 2006 they hit the East Coast with New Mexican Disaster Squad before going on an unplanned 7 year hiatus.
But they're back and are more than stoked to play backyard parties, basements, art galleries, community spaces, you name it. For Western Addiction, it's simple. They have a laser-directed idea of what they want to do: make and play good punk music. Nothing more, nothing less.