Cobra Skulls 

Missoula: here is a punk rock and roll band after your own heart. A band that tours with an itty-bitty, sweater-wearing dog called Bella. According to vocalist/bassist/songwriter/dog lover Devin Peralta, Bella may be more popular than the band. Indeed, she rated her own diminutive laminated backstage pass while touring with the Skulls and the Dropkick Murphys this past summer.

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The best time to catch a touring band is about a week or so in, when they are fresh, clean, and only slightly polluted by the lifestyle (forget the booze and the tantalizing whatnots, it's the gas station cuisine that takes the good bands down). Besides being fresh gastrointestinally, CS should also be fresh musically while performing hot new tracks from their upcoming Fat Wreck Chords release Agitations, which comes out Sept. 27. Peralta checked into a dive motel in Reno, Nevada for three weeks to write the material. The only hint of its sound available on the tubes is "Iron Lung," a short, well-crafted jam that is something more than the pop punk your cool Uncle Gary jammed to before football practice in the '90s. Months of touring ahead, new towns, new fans, but Missoula, we are the lucky ones.

Cobra Skulls plays the Badlander Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 9 PM with the Pack A.D. and The Be Helds. $8/$13 for 18- to 20-year-olds.

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