I’ve not listened to cro Mags for a long time, I bought “Best Wishes” back in the day. With it’s cool looking cover art and the bands intense logo I thought these guys were the epitome of hardcore coolness. That album inspired me to check out other bands that were part of a scene, I had just discovered, and I will always be thankful to them for that.
And so I now ﬁnd myself listening to this three track EP of new music from the ‘Mighty’ Cro Mags, and if I’m honest I’m disappointed; this is apparently the record that Lemmy told Harley Flanagan to make through a dream Harley had. So much so, that Phil Campbell plays lead and slide guitar on it.
To my ears the title track has a Clutch vibe to it, albeit a very aggressive Clutch. Nowt wrong with that though, I’m sure you’ll agree. Yet I don’t quite feel it, you know; that sensation you get when a band from your past releases new music. Excitement is lacking. Yes it’s fast paced, yes it’s got Phil Campbell on guitar but something is missing.
Second song “PTSD” is again a short sharp burst of hardcore metal, but it feels phoned in if I’m honest. The band released a very similar EP earlier this year and this seems to follow on where that one left off. The Cro Mags are a band steeped in history and this, to me at least; dilutes that history.
The third and ﬁnal track on offer here is an instrumental number “Between Wars”. The longest of the three tracks it reminds me of The God Machine, but it doesn’t really go anywhere, there doesn’t seem to be a point to it. Which is a shame really.
Maybe if we get a full album it will all make sense, but as it stands, this EP and the previous one just don’t quite live up the bands reputation. I mean, come on; the Misﬁts hand picked these guys to open for them on their recent spate of reunion shows. That on it’s own should tell you all you need to know about Cro Mags reputation.
Go and give “Best Wishes” or “Age of Quarrel” a listen if you want to hear what this band sounds like when its ﬁring on all cylinders.
1 – From The Grave 2 – PTSD 3 – Between Wars