In the chorus of the U.S. Bombs' newest single, "We Are the Problem," Duane Peters somewhat melodically barks, "We're no solution, we are the problem," sounding convinced as never before. He's right too; the problem with today's punk-rock scene is personified by rehashed SoCal songwriting such as this. After years of touring and recording, the band sounds tired and the message recycled.
There is no denying the influence Mr. Peters has been on the punk scene -- he fronted the Hunns, Bombs, and most recently, the Duane Peters Gun Fight -- as well as the skate community, where he has been a staple since the 1970s. U.S. Bombs has long served the need for street-punk anthems, slinging many of them from Peter's own Disaster Records, but the well has run dry; the songwriting sounds phoned in. Nonetheless, in some suburban living room sits an angry teenager watching the video for "Problem," and when he sees the Bombs -- dressed to the nines in denim and leather -- walk defiantly past corporate devils like Starbucks, full of punk-rock piss-and-vinegar, a mohawk will sprout upon his head.