In the summer of 2005 in Reno, Nevada three friends who met at school started to feel tired of most of the music that was coming out by most of the new bands out there, so they decided to make music themselves. Friends started coming over during practices in their basement, which were really the first shows they played. It wasn’t long before Cobra Skulls started recording and pressing music with local Reno label Humaniterrorist and began touring the country.
After playing dozens of shows on the west coast, CS caught the attention of Red Scare’s Tobias Jeg at one of their now well-known energetic shows in San Francisco. In 2007 CS released their first full-length Sitting Army with Red Scare. The album garnered critical acclaim and led to a full-time touring schedule with bands like Against Me! and The Lawrence Arms. After a second full-length, American Rubicon, in 2009 and winning over fans across the country and abroad, Fat Mike of Fat Wreck Chords took notice as well. CS released their third EP, Bringing the War Home, with Fat earlier this year, which stoked out fans for sure, but its brevity left them wanting more.
Well, the wait is soon to be over as Cobra Skulls get ready to release their third full-length album, Agitations, on Sept. 27, 2011. The album is definitely an adventurous and exciting progression for CS, but it still stays true to the original style that won CS the following that have kept them playing music today. Agitations is comprised of 13 tracks that clock in under 30 minutes and is poised to be the quintessential Cobra Skulls album to date.
Here’s what singer/songwriter Devin Peralta has to say:
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.
We finished a short tour in February and then I had less than a month to write an entire album. Solitude was definitely a necessity for me to write, even more so than usual, so I moved into a cheap, dirty, weekly motel in Reno (in a room I was told was used for an upcoming film based on the book “The Motel Life”) where I could concentrate, undisturbed.
The result is 13 songs, most of which are amalgams of a score of ideas for songs that had amassed in my mind over the past couple years that I somehow managed to store in my ever-increasingly faulty memory. After three weeks of motel life, I checked out and got together with Adam and Luke. We rehearsed for 8 days before driving to Motor Studios in San Francisco where we had three weeks to record – more than we’ve ever had before.
A couple of days into recording, Fat Mike came by for a few hours. I played him some of the songs on acoustic guitar. He liked a couple, but said that he thought we weren’t ready to record. Discouraging for some, I think it was actually a good motivation for us to make the best Cobra Skulls album to date…and wouldn’t you know it? I just heard from him yesterday after he listened to the mixes and he said it’s our “best album”. I’m not really sure he’s heard both of our other ones, though, so that has to be taken with a grain of salt, but still, it’s a good sign, eh? I for one have never heard of a band to come out of the studio and not think they just made their best album, so it might not mean much that I, too, think this is our best album yet, but I do!
The album is called Agitations, because most of the songs are lyrically concerned with, well, things that agitate and bother me. Things like prisons that are operated like businesses in an ever increasingly xenophobic and paranoid post 9/11 society, U.S. mercenaries taking the place of our military, the inevitable collapse (of which the beginnings we are already witnessing) of a neo-classical economic system and a consumerist obsessed car culture that cannot persist. Some songs deal with relationships with friends, family and loved ones. It’s not too different from our last two albums, but no song is quite like any song we’ve done before and every song has a distinct personality. Some are fast, some are mid-tempo and only one song is over three minutes long. 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. We think the new songs are fun to play so we hope people find them as enjoyable to listen to as well. Either way, we’re proud of Agitations.