Punk’s always had a time-bomb attitude -- the threat ticking just below the surface, the sense that any large crowd could at any moment turn riotous, and that therein the warriors would find camaraderie. It’s a battlefield that Orange County punk-rock revivalists U.S. Bombs call home. On Saturday, Dec. 21, Soda Bar becomes the frontlines as the U.S. Bombs bring that lyrical warzone to you.
Though they didn’t form until nearly 20 years after the first wave hit the States, the U.S. Bombs espouse the sort of street-punk roots that gained traction in the late ’70s. Frontman and professional skateboarder Duane Peters, now in his early 50s, dribbles political monologues between charged, thorny songs of brotherhood with sing-along choruses that inspire draped arms and synchronized air punching -- about as sentimental as punk rockers get. With time, Peters’ vocals have become more frog-like, wide-open croaks interrupted only by hunched, dipping dances that take him between the mic and guitarist Kerry Martinez, another founding member.
Even with Peters’ skate tours, various side projects (Duane Peters and the Hunns, the Duane Peters Gunfight), and the loss of his son, among other personal upsets, the group remained prolific, releasing nearly two dozen records of varying lengths and quality, both studio and self-produced, in almost as many years. Theirs is an approachable, familiar sound, sticking to the genre’s musical blueprint: open, slow-building drums culminating in sliding guitar scales and stepping beats easy to bob, bounce, and kick to. And that’s exactly what the crowd will be doing when the U.S. Bombs hit Soda Bar on Saturday night.
Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, recently moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.