Cro-Mags – “From The Grave” EP (Victory Records)
Battle Helm Rating
‘..I am working with the best team and the best musicians to launch the next era of Cro-Mags..’. No kidding. Hot footing it from the recent “Don’t Give In” EP comes the next instalment and brother, Harley Flanagan is clearly out to kill. Joining an already solid line up featuring legendary Rocky George (Suicidal Tendencies, Fishbone) and Gabby Abularach (Cro-Mags, Phillip Boa’s Voodoocult) on guitars comes none other than Motörhead’s guitarist Phil Campbell guesting on lead and slide guitar! As per the last round, this EP features 3 tracks, 2 of which are pile drivers in the classic Cro-Mags raging style while the third is a trippy instrumental probably designed to showcase the wider musical skills of the band to the uninitiated – and calm the rest of us down no doubt ha ha! Opening with the title track ‘From The Grave’, Campbell immediately melds his Motör-licks into the Magon sound as Harley roars to ‘..don’t let no one ever try to break you..’ as Campbell’s slick slide work hits home as drummer G-Man hammers his beats home on a track that answers the question about what a Motörhead / Cro-Mags collaboration might’ve sounded like – man, talk about the bomb! Roaring in to give Cronos a run for his money on ‘PTSD’, Harley’s heavily plucked bass also booms magnificently as the smooth metal core guitars of George and Abularach contrast superbly on this stylish raging number that ends sadly all too shortly. Ending with ‘Between Wars’ the initial build up soon subsides into mellow ambience with G-Man occasionally hitting hard or frantically in the background to the trippy and soulful guitars – no vox from Harley although he may the one ‘scratching’ his strings albeit to great rhythmic effect. The assault continues.