For some reason I had thought Iron Reagan had been going much longer than they had been, maybe because of their old school dead prez name or the fact that musically they gloriously hark back to, and fit right in, with the prime of ‘80’s crossover thrash.
In fact they’ve only been going a couple of years or so, not long before I first encountered them on their lovely split vinyl with Exhumed on the great Tank Crimes label from the States. This is their second full length now and christ, it’s impressive work.
Fair enough its not like they are starting from scratch as they feature Tony and Landphil from Municipal Waste plus Darkest Hour members and you can see a huge slice of the former in what they do, but while the party thrashing may have worn a bit thinner on their own later releases, this stand alone material is spot on.
Not without humour still (see the 12 seconds of “Your Kid’s an Asshole”) but there’s some sharp heavy thrashing that even gets to Slayer-esque standards, higher pitched riff-mongery recalling Nuclear Assault, and the whole crossover energy of the likes of D.R.I and S.O.D.. And while it could be very dull to recycle those same old vibes as many have and are, there’s not even time to think for that on this album, as it barrels along with infectious tempo on these sub two minute ragers.
An excellent production really gives an appreciation of the tight playing. They spit some social and political content too, just to add to the bite of the impact, and that’s up to date and all the more valid. It is all just done so well, and sounds fresh for all the referencing it does, the bounce of the riffs gets into you, you want to take a stage dive on to your sofa, spill beer, join in those hardcore gang shouts that intersperse the album.
It’s musically invigorating, and a great reminder of why thrash was just so good back in the day and can remain so in the present too.