Cobra Skulls - Sitting Army (Cover Artwork)

Cobra Skulls

Cobra Skulls: Sitting ArmySitting Army (2007)
Red Scare

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: Dante3000Dante3000
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Before I get into this, I want it to be said that this didn't need to happen. I didn't have to write this. All I wanted was someone, somewhere on this site to write a Cobra Skulls review. It didn't need to be good, or even positive. Hell, it didn't even need to be about this album. But, you were all.
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Before I get into this, I want it to be said that this didn't need to happen. I didn't have to write this. All I wanted was someone, somewhere on this site to write a Cobra Skulls review. It didn't need to be good, or even positive. Hell, it didn't even need to be about this album. But, you were all too busy making Yellowcard, smegma and dick jokes to do that. Now someone (editor or otherwise) is reading this shitty review and it's your fault. For shame.

The most common criticism about television shows made into movies is, what may have been entertaining in a 30-minute show, doesn't fly as a full-length film. This is the base of my concerns for the Cobra Skulls' first full-length Sitting Army. Before the recent release of Sitting Army, the longest piece of recorded material they put out was their Eat Your Babies EP, which clocked in at 7 songs in just under 15 minutes (if I recall properly). So, with 13 songs and nearly double the running time, Sitting Army is the ultimate test to see if Cobra Skulls are enjoyable in large doses or if they're better kept to short bursts maybe once a week (and whenever the CW picks them up for reruns).

The first thing I noticed about the album is the juxtaposition of the first track compared to that of their last release, Draw Muhammad. While Draw Muhammad was kicked off by the fast, short and in-your-face "Ode to Jefferson" (blistering out "I don't fuck with your bible / don't fuck with my constitution"), Sitting Army starts with the much more developed "Cobra Skullifornia," a track that is purely instrumental for almost the whole first minute (near the entire length of "Ode to Jefferson"). When the song finally kicks into gear you're greeted by the insightful yet amusing lyrics Devin has delivered in their previous efforts. Suddenly, halfway through the song you're jolted by something else unexpected: a fast and furious bass solo slamming into the closing verse. The reason why this song is so important is because it's pretty much the exact scale model of Sitting Army as a whole; it's still the same rocking Cobra Skulls you've loved all along, just fleshed out, with better and tighter musicianship.

I'm positive the album will draw the standard, lazy listener comparisons to Reinventing Axl Rose-era Against Me!, but one can quickly see that they pull from a wide variety of artists and style. Cobra Skulls feature a heavy dose of pop-punk in both their love of great melodies and rhyme schemes that make their songs ridiculously bouncy and fun. Additionally, some of Devin's lyrics seem to be be written by the ghost of the undead Jello Biafra. With lines like "The preacher talks like he's afraid of anybody gay, but loves man-whore in a motel room" you can almost imagine Jello's voice on the song "The Cobra and the Man-Whore." The broad range of influence does backfire slightly on "Cobra Skulls Graveyard," a song that (not coincidently) has moments where it seems like Devin is giving his best Glenn Danzig. Though the song isn't bad, the drawn out chorus line of "So don't put me in a grave," done in a lower vocal tone than most of the album, seems out of place. Other than that slightly odd moment, you're not going to find a single clunker on this album.

So is the world ready for a Cobra Skulls full-length? That remains to be seen. But, it's clear that these guys have done more than simply stretch out their previous efforts -- they've managed to take a sound that only occupied splits and EPs and evolve it into longer songs that can fill an entire album in 13 tracks. More impressively, they've managed to do it without losing any of the bite (cobra pun not intended) that made their prior work so outstanding. If that doesn't hook you, song topics ranging from man-whores, religion, stem cell research, women and the commercialization of Ché Guevara might.

[taken from: ShutUpDante.com]


People who liked this also liked:
Cobra Skulls - American RubiconAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitDead to Me - Cuban BallerinaThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundDead to Me - Little BrotherNOFX - The Decline

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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.
Kosta011 (February 11, 2012)

Love the Cobra Skuls! All their stuff is great, really enjoying this one.

blood-guts-punkrock (August 14, 2011)

As far as i'm concerned 'Sitting Army' is the best release to date. I have everything they have done bar the EP the reviewer mentioned. Their new full length is scheduled for release later this year which i am incredibly exited for but it needs to be extremely strong to beat this!

LIQUIDSWORDS (November 21, 2008)

this is one fucking awesome release
that is all.

vorhese (May 29, 2008)

These guys have pretty much become my new "IT" band. They replaced Against Me! who I have thrown aside with all the other washed up sell out bands. This album has so many great songs on it, and it's infectious. It's spreading like a disease in San Francisco.

heatherzee (January 30, 2008)

I think this is a great review of a great album. I am a die hard Against Me! fan and I bought this CD after Tom Gable announced it one of his faves of 2007. This album proves that punk's not dead and its just evolving with the times. I love it!

CobraSkullsFan (December 13, 2007)

anybody who doesn't find their lyrics to be a breath of fresh air for the punk community must not be a part of the punk community.... and that's not even elitist. That's the truth; our community is found on this stuff, which is equality, responsibility, and social reflection.

Angiepants (December 12, 2007)

Saw these guys open for Against Me! a few weeks ago and was blown the fuck away. I don't know why I never listened to them before that. Easily one of the best albums of 07.

Windfall (November 18, 2007)

I love this album, and Graveyard is an awesome song.

ThoughtriotAF578 (November 10, 2007)

Seeing these guys open for AM! next week. I hope they get the respect they deserve, because when i saw Smoke or Fire open for Rise Against, i thought the kids at the show would love them, but there were only a few kids that seemed to give a shit. SOF pointed it out on stage, they seemed kinda dissapointed. They ripped it way harder than any other bands on the bill, but apparently that doesn't matter. (Run on sentance much?)

Anonymous (August 4, 2007)

ehhhhhhhh, i decided. I quite like it.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

i dont think anyone has said humor and politics don't work, its just that they necesarrily work in this instance and once again thats just your opinion

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

Look at Propagandhi, they have awesome politics and a sense of humor as well. It works. Nothing wrong with having a message and not taking yourself so seriously. I give this one a 10/10.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

Well said Rich. I am going to have to disagree with the majority here (and even more so the opinions of people i respect) in saying that his cd/band just don't do it for me. The music itself is decent but as a whole the band has yet to grab me as anything special or enticing. From the opener to the the acoustic song and beyond I just don't see the appeal. I think the humor in the lyrics and in the whole 'cobra' moniker is just kinda, well, not humorous or interesting. My opinion can be changed but I definetly prefer the falcon, tbr, and the methadones side of redscare. I also like what i hear from la plebe and the copyrights but have yet to purchase the full-lengths.
ps. toby, fuck brian ching for scoring that goal against dc last night.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

I can see how people may not enjoy the humorous lyrics (or thinks it makes it kind of quirky and short lived), it's that kind of humor that has made me love the Dead Kennedys more enthusiastically than many of their (arguably better or more influential) contemporaries.
But I can see how this album isn't for everyone. It's not a matter of liking good music, it's just a personal taste issue.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

From what I can tell, this band is not just one of those "Fuck Bush!" type bands. And aren't we talking about PUNK ROCK here, people? Shouldn't bands have SOMETHING to say other than, "I'm outside of your window, with my radio"?

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

while they may not be completely 'preachy' or entirely overtly political, the whole humorous spin and lyrics really hinder these songs and this band's staying power IMO

Dante3000 (August 2, 2007)

I'm going to throw my two cents on the whole "preaching" thing, because I feel it's a pretty unfair label. The album contains 13 songs, no two of which cover the same subject. And while I don't feel I'm in any position to compare them to the Clash, they certainly are a hell of a lot more diverse than Anti-Flag (especially if you compare this to Anti-Flag's first LP).
I don't feel this records is preachy, I feel it expresses a person (or groups) view point in a pretty entertaining way, which is pretty much what all music does. I never find myself listening to the album going "Alright I get it, fuck Bush, yes. No war for oil." And that's where Toby is coming from, that if you think this is preachy it must be hard to hear anything anyone has to say about anything.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

"I hate being preached to, by people from either side."

i really think he means the obviously slanted views from bands such as anti-flag,/cobra skulls whose lyrics are very politically far left and simple, and as I have no comparison to bands' who have lyrics that are overtly conservative I would akin the 'preaching' thing to analysts and actors who preach/ed on the far right ala o'reilly, hannity, wayne, and heston. its not that they're political its just that its really a constant barage of the same bias appropriated amongst a few hot topic issues.while these lyrics aren't bad they are definetly not great and will not stand the test of time because of this. its safe to say that bands that are/were good like the anti-flag and prop. have pidgeon-holed themselves b/c of this while others such as the clash and the broadways to a lesser extent had more variance and therefore are more viable have more staying power

RedScare (August 1, 2007)

"I hate being preached to, by people from either side."

If you find any and all opinions so offensive, you might wanna stay away from, well, all music, books, TV, movies, newspapers, magazines, and the internet. Definitely the internet.

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

There aren't many bands whose lyrics render the music unlistenable, but this is one of them.

I hate being preached to, by people from either side.

SumWon (August 1, 2007)

The opening paragraph is classic.

Score is for the songs on the stream.

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

I'm comparing Charming the Cobra to Thrash Unreal, yes.

glasspipemurder (August 1, 2007)

are you talking about "Thrash Unreal"?

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

I honestly don't see any comparison to Against Me! But I do notice something that's similar to Against Me!:

In Charming the Cobra they do that "doh DAH dah doh DAH DAH DAH doh..." Now, I'm not complaining, because I like it, but why do they not get shit for that while everyone made fun of Against Me! for "ba ba ba, ba ba ba da da.."? It's the same damn idea!

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

the ergs! are the best band ever and if they would sign to red scare, red scare would become the best label around.

branden (August 1, 2007)

i really dislike the cover art. from far away, their logo looks like a juggalo's face.

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

Hmm. I need to start trying to sound smart when it gets late and I've been drinking, apparently.

(I meant stop, but didn't erase start to highlight my point..)

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)

This album confuses me. They sound like a fun band..but they're lyrics just don't work with their music. I mean, I enjoy political bands I guess, but not if they're disguised as drink and have a good time bands. If that makes any sense. That said, I still enjoy this band.

Anonymous (August 1, 2007)


i'll quit bugging you about it, but they may bug you about it. i gave them your contact info. call me the matchmaker.

RedScare (July 31, 2007)

Alright...who is the Nerf Herder guy? Really, who ever you are, email me. NH would want nothing to do with my fly-by-night label, so quit bugging me about it!

Glad to see Dante got some more face time. Nice review.

el_matt (July 31, 2007)

Great album. I was thinking of doing a review of it this weekend, but now it seems kind of pointless. Thanks Dante!

I love the song "Hasta Los Cobra Skull Para Siempre".

inagreendase (July 31, 2007)

This is dec.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

score is for the nerf herder cobras that toby is too oblivious to sign and fat is too dumb to put out.

misterspike (July 31, 2007)

Grabbed this off emusic.com as soon as I heard the SSR podcast. I'm beginning to think Red Scare knows no bad release.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

As if Against me! weren't bad enough. Bring on the ripoffs!

SonnySix (July 31, 2007)

If you don't have this record yet you're missing out on one of the best this year. Go get it.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Super awesome LP. Maybe the best thing on Red Scare EVER. Good politics and good party music. Can't ask for more.

baseball (July 31, 2007)

i like the songs on the stream, especially the acoustic one

maybe lacks a little staying power though

Dante3000 (July 31, 2007)

the PN score is 8 and the shutupdante score is 9. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, *strokes beard* this does not compute.
haha, I actually thought about that before I submitted the review. Thing is, Shutupdante.com is a lot more my personal feelings. In the interest of objectivity, I felt the 9 might be influenced by my love of Toby and Redscare, so I dropped it to a less fanboyish 8 for the review. Also, I typically rate albums out of 100 (from 0.1 to 10) and with that a 9.0 leaves 10 points of adjustment to a perfect 10, where as a 9.0 on punknews only leaves one point difference.

Additionally, this band has the strong backing of Brendan Kelly (like he loves em). So that's got to count for something.

coldwaffles (July 31, 2007)

I agree with byrne. good review.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

dante is now king of hyperbole. here is your crown...

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

the PN score is 8 and the shutupdante score is 9. Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, *strokes beard* this does not compute.

T-Rock (July 31, 2007)

Honestly, I think this one is way overrated. As somebody said before, I got bored of this one very quickly. At first it seemed really cool, but after a few spins... not so much.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

Great stuff...only downside is I did manage to almost get tired of it after two weeks, then again I was listening to it 3-4 times a day. Song #5...Charming the Cobra is the shit...It definitely gets the nod over the new High Tension Wires album (solid, not as good as the first)

Big_Guy (July 31, 2007)

I'm sorry, I usually back Red Scare, but this is not good

bryne (July 31, 2007)

Good review. Don't beat yourself up Dante.

I need to get this.

Anonymous (July 31, 2007)

I believe that this is the album that Against Me should have put out.

nocigar (July 31, 2007)

you're not cool if you don't do drugs, dante.

NotPatriotic (July 31, 2007)

Hahahaha, you really do have a site titled shutupdante.com.
I liked your post on the movie Bratz

Banal242 (July 31, 2007)

By plagerized, I mean taken from.

I am a little drunjk.

Banal242 (July 31, 2007)

This review was plagerized from ShutUpDante.com.

onegirlarmy (July 31, 2007)

I really love this record a whole lot.

Dante3000 (July 31, 2007)

HAHA, holy god. I didn't think this would actually go up. I'm so shamed.

feeeding5000 (July 31, 2007)

Bleccch. The next Against Me, only even worse. No thank you.

GlassPipeMurder (July 31, 2007)

getting this soon... good review... can't believe you actually registered the shutupdante domain... nice work.

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