If you are a hardcore/punk/crossover fan in the least bit, you will be familiar with Harley Flanagan and Cro-Mags. They practically defined the genres of hardcore and crossover back in the ’80s. They were violent, political, and angry at the world, and they were able to harness all of this in their music. The band went through a great deal of turmoil over the years, including Flanagan’s infamous brawl in 2012 at a Cro-Mags show that lead to the angst on this album. No matter what you think, or whose side you take in the battle between the Cro-Mags and him, you can’t deny his contributions to the genre. Cro-Mags, the album, is a throwback to the early era of the band, and Flanagan can barely contain his anger, spewing venomous vocals in just under 25 minutes.
“I Come In Peace” bashes you in the brain right from the start. It’s raw, abrasive and straight-to-the-gut hardcore the way it was meant to be! “Can’t Give In” has more of a thrash feel to it, but it doesn’t let up in the anger department. Flanagan really exhibits his devout love for Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister here, as he does throughout the entire album. “Betrayal I” gets even faster and more angry, if that’s possible. “Webster Hall” contains news bits from the brawl at the venue of the same name. It’s slow, raw and heavy. “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” is a middle finger at the justice system dealing with the aforementioned incident. “To All My Friends” is a riff-heavy monster that sounds like it could have been on the first Cro-Mags album, The Age of Quarrel. “I’ll Fuck You Up” is just 30-plus seconds of a monster riff that has a “Dimebag” Darrell feel to it. “Trust No One,” clocking in at just over four minutes, takes you out of the album in a circle pit. It’s what hardcore is all about!
Yes, Harley Flanagan is surrounded by controversy, but his contributions to the metal world are unmistakable. This keeps him pissed off and writing some of the most brutally raw songs out there today.
Cro-Mags is out now on MVD Entertainment. Buy it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):
Cro-Mags Harley Flanagan MVD Entertainment