Music Review: “My Side of Town” by The Roadside Bombs – The Boys of ‘Noma Slam It Home

I could justifiably be accused of nepotism, but I want to plug my cousin Ben’s band  The Roadside Bombs and their debut CD just out called “My Side of Town” on Chapter 11 records. Ben has been a punk rock singer since he was a kid. Legend has it that one of his early bands opened for Green Day back in the 90s.  His current band, The Roadside Bombs, rocks hard on these 14 tracks all super tight fitting pounds and pounds of riffs into these 2 minute anthems. I think Ben would probably defend the choice by saying something along the lines of “If you can’t say it in two minutes, then what the hell are you really trying to say anyway?” ‘Course, I’ll let him add a rebuttal or correction(s) in the comments.

The title track “My Side of Town” has a great drive to it and sets the tone for the entire disc. Firmly rooted in the ‘Noma (Sonoma County, CA) sound, the band members have been all over the northern Cali punk map in bands like The Bodies, The Randumbs and The Feelers. The second track “Backstreet Noise” reminds me a little of the sound and energy of fellow California punk rocker (and car enthusiast) Mike Ness and his old band Social Distortion. The longest track on the disk is track 3, “The Goings On” which has screams with an excellent bass line and some great drumming. The biggest hit on the disk is likely to be “Not Everyone Knows a Good Thing” for which the band cut a cool punk love music vid:

It is an excellent, singalong punk hit that will is loads of fun. Maybe my favorite song from Ben’s repertoire. The next track “Someone to Hurt” has a nice depth to the lyrics. I like the juxtaposition of the tracks “You’re Gonna Die” (great riff here too!) and “Sunny Side of the Street”. There is an optimism underneath the music here. Ben never sent me the band bios and backgrounds but I suspect he wrote many of these himself because the latter sounds like something he would say. “Zaxxon” is a core punk classic – it and “Angry People” definitely make you feel like banging your head or heading for the closest mosh pit. I feel a lot of influence here from punk gods The Ramones but also California staples like the Dead Kennedys and Rancid. I know that “Tax Revolution” is an older Ben composition, having been on his 2004 disk, The Muggers ( This version is 100x more powerful and just kicks your ass for the entire 2:25 running time. I sure wouldn’t want to be an IRS agent anywhere near Ben’s garage when they are playing this one! “Bring ‘Em Home” is a song about getting the vets back home from the middle east. The CD ends with a few more fun tracks “Recess Control”, “Story of Your Life” and “Down to the Beach” (were you thinking of Stinson or Petaluma Ben? Maybe Santa Cruz or that’s perhaps too far…)

So, I want to say that I am thankful for having a wonderful family and in this particular case, an extremely talented cousin that has put out a fantastic disc. So, head off to and grab yourself a copy. You don’t want to piss Ben off now, do ya? Also, make sure to Like their page on old FB:

Happy Turkey Day bitches!


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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One Response to Music Review: “My Side of Town” by The Roadside Bombs – The Boys of ‘Noma Slam It Home

  1. Ed M. says:

    Gotta love old school punk. Reminds me of “Ted Leo and the Pharmacists” one of my favorite bands.

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