U.S. Bombs: Clash Tribute and Hollywood Gong Show EPs (Slope Records, 2017)

"Although I used to sing these tunes with many a punk on the way home from any gig drunk back in the day, man did we have the words wrong," says Duane Peters, the vocalist of long-running punk band, U.S. Bombs. Peters is referring to "Death or Glory" and "Straight to Hell," the two Clash songs he and his group cover on their new EP, Clash Tribute. For those of you who aren't up on their skateboard history, Peters is also a legend in the sport, going back to the late '70s.

As it turns out, U.S. Bombs will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2018, and what a better way to gear up for the year of festivities than by a quick homage to one of their biggest influences.

In terms of their approach, the band keeps pretty close to the original's sonic and performance blueprints. The biggest difference being Peters' distinctive vocals. Both songs were originally sung by Joe Strummer, and Peters doesn't waste time trying to sound like him, thankfully. You see, the skateboarding OG has a pretty cool singing voice that while melodic, also has a snotty quality to it that fits these songs perfectly.

Photo: Olga Aguilar

On the originals front, U.S. Bombs have also cut a 2-track EP featuring the songs "Hollywood Gong Show" and "Midnight Run." Both numbers are highly infectious, but if I had to pick one of the two, I'd go with the former. "Hollywood Gong Show" is driven by a big hook of a main guitar riff and Peters' melancholic yet sugary chorus gets its teeth in ya from the first go around.

The new EPs were produced by Meat Puppets' Cris Kirkwood and sound like a million bucks. I'll have to admit that I haven't listened to the old U.S. Bombs albums in quite a few years, but these new releases have inspired me to change that.

Both Clash Tribute and Hollywood Gong Show will be released on Dec. 29 via Slope Records and can be preordered here.

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