“Iron Reagan” Crossover Ministry – CD REVIEW by Adam McCann
Record: Relapse Records 2017
Cast your mind back into the midst of time when different sides of the coin started to push into more extreme territories. Both Thrash Metal and Hardcore Punk took their respective origin points and turned up the violence and speedometer with it only being a matter of time before both genres humped and spawned what is now known as Crossover. This genre takes no prisoners with its bleak social commentary and rabid fan base which like to party hard and mosh even harder.
Iron Reagan began life as a spin-off side project by Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour members, Tony Foresta, Landphil Hall and Ryan Parrish. They decided to shake things up a little by moving away from the partying all hours and puking in the trash can to taking a more social role with particular strong feelings against the American Dream, politics, Republicans and the right wing in general.
This year sees Iron Reagan release their 3rd studio album, Crossover Ministry. For those who know what Iron Reagan are about, then Crossover Ministry is exactly what you would expect from the new heroes of Crossover/Hardcore Punk. Crossover Ministry is fast, violent, nihilistic and a more than perfect successor to Iron Reagan’s previous album, The Tyranny of Will. Anyone who purchased The Tyranny of Will will be pleased to know that Crossover Ministry picks up exactly where it left off as it will bully its way through your speakers punching you in the face before sticking a beer down your throat.
If you have never had the pleasure of listening to Iron Reagan, then prepare yourself for assault and battery. Crossover Ministry cuts its way into action as the feedback from an overdriven guitar announces that Iron Reagan are here before hitting the accelerator pedal down with A Dying World and firing forward at break neck speed as you can almost hear the mosh pit exploding.
What you get with Crossover Ministry is a-typical of Iron Reagan; a thoroughly good head-banging Hardcore tracks interspersed with songs that are less than 30 seconds long, little quips of anger that do their best to act as an entrée, a small tease, whetting your appetite before the next course of violence. However, some of these are actually very good and shouldn’t be written off as fodder such as the fantastic You Never Learn, Power of the Skull and Dogsnotgods.
Iron Reagan have never been a band for hanging around with Crossover Ministry lasting a mere 29 minutes. However, Crossover Ministry is an album that is all about quality over quantity and there are some pure Crossover anthems here, Dead with my Friends, More War and the title track are all fantastic additions to the Iron Reagan cannon with their fist in the air choruses before descending back into the pit for some much-needed dispensing of violence. However, the standout track from Crossover Ministry is probably the best track that Black Flag never wrote, Fuck the Neighbours. Fuck the Neighbours comes complete with samples from your white picket neighbours complaining about noise levels, drinking, the state of the yard and calling the cops dragging your memories back to the late 80’s when your music scared the generation before.
Crossover Ministry is a more than decent album, although, there is a time and a place for it. Sunday morning with a raging hangover is definitely not that time. However, with a beer in your hand, surrounded by your mates as the time pushes into the next day is the perfect time to unleash Crossover Ministry or even getting in from work, stick your middle finger in the air and think, no longer my problem! 8/10
Adam McCann / MHF Magazine