Cobra Skulls - Agitations (Cover Artwork)

Cobra Skulls

Cobra Skulls: AgitationsAgitations (2011)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: RobinYourgraveRobinYourgrave
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Cobra Skulls' third full-length, Agitations starts with a misleading kind of psychobilly kind of Motörhead spin with "Six Degrees". The remainder of the album barely follows suit, though, and progresses to just a good, fun, breath-of-fresh-air kind of punk album. Sparing no energetic prowess, Ag.
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Cobra Skulls' third full-length, Agitations starts with a misleading kind of psychobilly kind of Motörhead spin with "Six Degrees". The remainder of the album barely follows suit, though, and progresses to just a good, fun, breath-of-fresh-air kind of punk album.

Sparing no energetic prowess, Agitations is fierce from the start. Vocal harmonization, shaky fronts, violent guitars, and lyrical simplicity play into the album's cohesiveness. The listener never finds themselves bored, though at times it does come off as a tad generic. Only at times, though.

The cadence of the verse of "Iron Lung" almost puts the listener to mind of the Clash, whereas "Now You Know", "The Mess" and "The Mockery" take bits and pieces of several punk subgenres to create an almost Frankenstein's monster of music. They still manage to maintain their own stylistic signature, though, which makes this album surprising, entertaining, and far from dull.

The highest standout track on the album, "On & On" takes several clichés and makes them moot and irrelevant, screaming "Just because it kills us doesn't make us stronger," and "Don't tell me it's darkest before it's gotta get lighter." Cobra Skulls illustrate proficiency in removing any credibility from common clichés and punching holes through lyrical simplicity.

Agitations finishes with the smooth acoustic song "Believe" for an overall strong close, slightly reminiscent of a Matt Skiba solo piece. Fans, newcomers, whoever will find Agitations to be a well-rounded, entertaining album full of genre-bending aggression and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, satisfying ears tuned to just about anything.


People who liked this also liked:
Dead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteCobra Skulls - Bringing the War HomeNothington - Borrowed TimeBanner Pilot - Heart Beats PacificThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsThe Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Frank Turner - England Keep My BonesNOFX - The DeclineCobra Skulls - American Rubicon

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Thumbs (May 21, 2012)

Thumbs up.

hotbox (January 18, 2012)

Very good band, very mediocre album. Hope they haven't peaked already.

Kosta011 (January 7, 2012)

I kove this album album, i can't stop listening to it. Love the soung of the guitar and the bass on this album. Can't wait to see this guys live in march.

MarvTheZombie (December 25, 2011)

While I do love 'American Rubicon''s heavily southern-edged punk quality to death, this album bears somewhat less of the southern sound and has a much stronger punk front, but still keeps the kickass sound that the Cobra Skulls have brought to the table. Fantastic release, very excited for what CS has coming in the following years.

bradc930 (December 23, 2011)

This album is very disappointing to me on first listen.

It took me long enough to getting around to picking it up and Rubicon is one of my favorite albums ever but this one just doesn't do anything for me.

virtualvisor (October 13, 2011)

"It's not bad, but it's nowhere near as awesome as the last two full-lengths. I love how diverse those records were, this is a just a straightforward punk album."

Err, Rubicon was about 90% straightforward punk, with a lil' ska, aocustic and bar-rock piano dittyin' thrown in for good measure. Agitations is pretty much that, minus the bar-rock piano ditty. Seriously, it's Rubicon II. Which is perfectly fine. I could understand applying the above critique to Rubicon/Agitations against SA, but to Agitations alone? Nah

virtualvisor (October 13, 2011)

"You can tell this was all written within a very short span of time in solitary confinement."

Uh, no, you can't "tell" that just by listening to the album. That's fucking absurd. You can HEAR/READ Devin mention that in a interview or promo piece, and then say, "Oh, yes, I see how this all could have been written over the course of a couple weeks in a single Reno hotel room", but that's about it. It's a dumb thing to say.

killtaker (October 10, 2011)

American Rubicon was my favorite record whatever year it came out. I really enjoyed the lyrical content and the diversity of the songs. I think that Agitations is good but not great. The songs are a bit too much the same and the hooks aren't as strong. Maybe next time.

palpitations101 (October 5, 2011)

The production does not do the songs the justice they so dearly deserve.

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (October 4, 2011)

good album..........i think if a reviewer is going to take lyrics to task you should get them right, i think theyre misquoted, d'oh......................

palpitations101 (October 4, 2011)

Really cool. Great songwriting, and finally I'm sinking my teeth into them. But...too produced? I know it's fat, but it sounds like everything, even the drums, were plugged into a mac. Guitars are way too compressed.

Great songs, can't wait to hear it live.

fattony (October 4, 2011)

After a few listens, I'm chalking this up as a disappointment. I still like it, but there isn't really anything special about it. It's like these guys just decided to make a straight-forward punk album, which is fine, but that's not why I got into Sitting Army or, to a lesser extent, American Rubicon. Bringing The War Home just raised my expectations a bit too high, I suppose.

hayman (October 3, 2011)

Easily one of the best for the year. I'll be playing this for a long time.

donniesaur (October 3, 2011)


oldpunkerforever (October 3, 2011)

oops, need more coffee-oldpunker-

oldpunkerforever (October 3, 2011)

Top 5 of the year, so fun and so darn good. On and On is one hook filled 3 min of fun-oldpunker-

jacknife737 (October 2, 2011)

Great fucking album.

The perfect direction for the band to head in.

telegraphrocks (October 1, 2011)

This album is soooooooo fucking good! One of the year's best!

Saw them last night. Awesome set, but could've used just a few more new songs... they only did 3.

austinatx (October 1, 2011)

I didn't know Jason Shevchuk joined the Cobra Skulls, but his vocals suit the album pretty well.

Another couple points:
-You can tell this was all written within a very short span of time in solitary confinement.
-Although some of the lyrics are very straight forward and topical, they don't cross the line of rubbing me too much the wrong way.
-From the sonic characteristics, I thought Fat Mike produced this due to the hi's and lack of a really heavy low end. However, it doesn't sound bad...just like a classic Fat Wreck release.

Overall a solid four stars.

kylewagoner (September 30, 2011)

I love Matt Skiba. I also love Devin. But god, I love Skiba.

misterspike (September 30, 2011)

Haven't gotten this yet ... but reading the first line of the review, I DEMAND a Cobra Skulls cover of "Ace of Spades".

thingfromuranus (September 30, 2011)

Best record ao far this year

thepopeofchili-town (September 30, 2011)

I don't want to be the guy who says, "The old stuff was so much better", but...

"Believe" is the only song I really like. It's not bad, but it's nowhere near as awesome as the last two full-lengths. I love how diverse those records were, this is a just a straightforward punk album.

royharper (September 30, 2011)

I want my Spanish Cobra Skulls!

jimmynorville (September 30, 2011)

Well, Skiba believes in Satan and Devin believes in the earth/nature...so, that's kind of the same.

MuhammadMormon (September 30, 2011)

Wait... you're comparing "Believe" to something Skiba would do??????????????????

Who ok'd this review?????

jimmynorville (September 30, 2011)

I'll admit that I'm going to eat up anything Cobra Skulls puts out there, but the only negative thing about this album is the lack of Spanish mixed into the songs. As for the wide variety of influence that Cobra Skulls have, in my experience, for just as many punks that are turned off by it, there are the same number of people that aren't even really into punk that love Cobra Skulls because of it.

MuhammadMormon (September 30, 2011)

I'm digging the fucking shit out of this!
May be their best.

hey_sailor (September 30, 2011)

This is just a great, fun album. Some of my favorite songs they have ever written find their way on here. No one has even mentioned "Running Out" which is fucking phenomenal.

ughlee (September 30, 2011)

First time I heard this album I thought, "Wow, this is good." Next few times I heard it, I really got into it. Then at about the fourth or fifth listen, it started to fade, and now I think this album is just okay. The songs are all kind of the same, and I really am not that into the recording - the guitars seem very flat and uninteresting sounding to me. This band also needs to get a new artist to do their album art, their past two releases have been some of the ugliest I've seen. I normally like the poppier side of the Cobra Skulls, but this album relies a bit too heavily on it and doesn't expand upon it, and I find myself wishing for a little more like the first song. Still a great band though.

Heathbar (September 30, 2011)

I disagree. I respect the reviewer's opinion, but there is lyrical and musical growth that is very apparent on this album that has been ignored. I think Cobra Skulls get punished in reviews by having so many varying influences within the punk genre. I was stoked to finally see the early-Millencolin influence in "All Drive." I love the folk and country influences that have seeped in since Draw Muhammad, reminding me of a time when those genres stood for more than hippie-whining and 'Merica, while bringing the energy that first drew me to punk. Cobra Skulls intertwine all of this while bringing to light issues that all people should (and likely are on this site) at least be cognizant of.

Unfortunately, that makes this band less easy to digest in time to write a fair review. I've probably listened to the album twenty times in the last week, and I'm only just starting to understand the lyrical significance of what Devin is trying to express, while enjoying the eclectic musical stylings. So far, for me, the album is missing (even though it urges action) the amount of desperation that Sitting Army had or the highlight of a "One Day I'll Never" that American Rubicon had. (However, "Believe" or "The Mess" could end up being the "One Day I'll Never" of Agitations.) Either way, this album gets much better than a 7 from me, and I'm just starting to embrace its potential greatness. A few more spins will do everyone some good.

JayTee (September 30, 2011)

This album is very Cobra.

natwar249 (September 30, 2011)

haven't listened to this album yet, but I personally think the art is super ugly

boonlar (September 30, 2011)

I was expecting more from this album and in my opinion it does not eclipse/surpass American Rubicon.

cyanotic (September 30, 2011)

Another great Cobra Skulls album.

The review kind of reads like album review mad-libs though.

Chadreligion (September 30, 2011)

I like the writing on this record... good, poppy, and stays true to the form. Production is damn good, and really, the only complaint I have about this record is I really don't like the way Devin sings on SOME of the songs. It's just me though... he just sounds almost a little hillbilly, or something.... maybe it's the way he's stretching those "eeeees" and oooos".

mattramone (September 30, 2011)

"Believe" might be my new favorite Cobra Skulls song.

This album is tits.

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