Iron Reagan – “Crossover Ministry” (Relapse Records)
As if perfectly timed for the inauguration of their new President comes crossover punks Iron Reagan’s 3rd opus. Born in the 80s during (but not necessarily because of) the Reagan era, crossover was the fusion of hardcore punk with thrash and skate influences, as espoused by the popular bands of the time like DRI, Gang Green, and not in the least, the mighty Suicidal Tendencies. Iron Reagan are a far more recent creation, formed in 2012, but certainly play the style as I vividly remember it, or rather the bruises I got from many a mosh pit heh heh – thanks to amphetamine fueled speed trips delivering hard but rhyming songs and memorable beats to shout outs they could raise any roof. Iron Reagan certainly fit that description judging by the 18 tracks here, ranging from 6 seconds to 3.36 mins – their longest number! Still, it matters little when you’re delivering the quality and on “Crossover Ministry” these Virginians do it in bunches with every song having tasty hooks, addictive beats and of course, plenty of memorable rhyming lyrics from the throat strained vocals of Tony Foresta. Most of all, while having that authentic sound, songs like the smokingly heavy ‘Dead With My Friends’, the Nuclear Assault like ‘Condition Evolution’ and the riotous but hilarious ‘Fuck The Neighbours’, are all delivered through note by note perfection by the dirty crunching guitars of Phil (Landphil) Hall and Mark (The Cat) Bronzino, complete with wild ass soloing, the deep twanging bass of Mark (The Cat) Bronzino and hammered home by Ryan Parish’s power drumming. Definitely a superior release guaranteed to put a fir up someone’s ass!