I have to give the U.S. BOMBS a lot of credit. Not only are most of the guys in this band probably old enough to be your father, they've been amazingly consistent, if not derivative, for the duration of their career, which now goes four albums deep on Hellcat, plus plenty of other side releases. "Covert Action" is more of the same mid-to-slow paced punk rock from these guys, with one new addition: a gnarly ska/dub sound on "The Gow." The U.S. BOMBS have always brought grit along with them on whatever release, and this style has been well saved with the Darian Rundall production quality. I've previously faulted this band for writing competent, but forgettable tunes, but such thumpers as "John Gottie" (sic), and the rampantly grueling "Croatia Breaks" linger around in my mind for days at a time. Carrying 13 songs in just over 30 minutes, the 'BOMBS don't waste any time in getting their struts across. Finally, the artwork on here is fabulous - and I especially dig the "docket folder" theme of the insert booklet to match the whole "top secret" thing.
While the mainstream world might all croon along to the same tune about the "return to rock" from THE WHITE STRIPES, THE HIVES, or THE LIBERTINES (the latter is actually worth the hype), it's the toe-tapping bastion of snarl that embodies "Covert Action" which gives it its punk rock pedigree. This disc might not fix my need for speed, nor it be a ground breaking release for a bunch of veterans, but it is what it is, and fans of the U.S. BOMBS should be ready with open arms.
-Jordan A. Baker