• Iron Reagan – Tyranny Of Will

    Iron Reagan – Tyranny Of Will
    Released by: Relapse Records
    Released on: September 16th, 2012.
    Purchase From Amazon

    Iron Reagan’s second full length and their first for Relapse follows their first, Worse Than Dead, and once again combines politics, b-movie references, trash culture and thrash culture into a blistering collection of thrash/hardcore crossover bliss. Made up of Tony Foresta (better known as Tony Waste from Municipal Waste) on vocals, Phill Hall (also of Municipal Waste but also of Cannabis Corpse) and Mark Bronzino (formerly of ANS) on guitar, Rob Skottis (of Hellbear) on bass and the insanely fast Ryan Parrish (Darkest Hour) on drums these guys are the super group to thrash and hardcore that Off! is to California style hardcore punk in that they have an old school sound that is completely in keeping with tradition, but at the same time they absolutely deliver some seriously brain crunching music.

    The album kicks off with the title track, four seconds past the two minute mark in length, and it starts off kinda sludgy but soon picks up the pace and heads into full on thrash attack mode when Foresta starts singing about the hidden agendas of the powers that be. There’s no mixed message here, he literally calls bullshit on all of it. Great gang vocals, thick pounding guitar sounds and yeah… this is it. After the opening track, we get a barrage of super speedy thrashcore in the form of I Won’t Go, Eyeball Gore (an ode to Fulci? Maybe a few others too? Watch the video at the end of this review and you decide!) and Close To Toast, neither of which pass the two minute mark. Short, nothing even close to sweet, and to the point. Fast as fast can be and plenty angry. This sounds like early Exodus mixed with early Agnostic Front and it’s beautiful, Close To Toast in particular very obviously channeling the band’s hardcore influences in a big way. Bet On Black also wears those influences on its sleeve, throwing in some crazy drumming throughout the twenty-five second track to keep you on your toes.

    By the time we get to Miserable Failure we’re a quarter of the way through the album and the band shows no signs of changing course at all. This is more of the same, in a very good way. The chorus to this one is catchy as all Hell and easy to sing along to – never a bad thing. The Living Skull? Punishingly fast, forty-two seconds in length, it’s over before I’ve finished typing this sentence so I’m repeating it because it kills and I want to hear it again. In Greed We Trust brings back some fun gang vocals on the chorus and a few breakdowns too, giving it a pretty traditional New York Hardcore sound. The band isn’t from New York but who cares. They do this so well no one is going to mind. Glocking Out is twelve damn seconds long, it’s just a mainline does of speed. Rat Shit is a bit more accessible but keeps the pace and strays not from the rest of the album’s sound and style, thankfully. U Lock The Bike Cop? That’d be thirty-three seconds of anti-cop, anti-shitty-kickstand anger channeled into a thirty-three second track that will kick you in the nuts and make you say ‘thank you, more please.’

    Broken Bottles is one of the few tracks on the album that passes the two minutes mark so it actually gives the band some time to build a bit of mood and it’s got an early Slayer vibe to it, but never sounds like it’s trying to copy that band at all. Bleeding Frenzy is next and it’s also rad. We’re getting repetitive here, sorry. Bored To Death is too fast to bore anyone, it’s less than a minute in length and it’s another fast, thrash punk ditty sure to get your foot a’tapping and your fist a’pumping. If you can move that quickly, at least. What about Class Holes? There are some samples over some guitar to start this off but they don’t stay long and soon Foresta is doing his thing and the rest of the band are joining in on the chorus to some INSANELY FAST drumming. Ryan Parrish is superhuman or something. Obsolete Man and Nameless (with its anti-Jihadist chorus of ‘brain washed to wear bombs and to attack’) and Exit The Game all punch you in the head over and over again for a combined four minutes, followed by the twelve second (yes, you read that right) long Your Kid’s An Asshole. Shades of D.R.I. and S.O.D. here in a big way. I thought it was funny even if you didn’t. It’s twenty-seconds so it doesn’t get any deeper than that. Bill Of Fights is a blasting, heaving, heavy rage against how much the government(s) tend to suck, while Consensual Harassment is a weird thirty-nine second song about exploring the sensual side of things and drinking, while Just Say Go spends a whole fifty seconds kicking things into high gear and making you want to break shit. This whole album has that effect.

    The last song on the album is Four More Years and at four minutes and one second it’s almost twice as long as anything else on the album. It’s almost a mid-tempo track compared to the super speedy songs that make up the first twenty-three tracks. It’s hardly a ballad though, as the band joins in on the chorus and Foresta screams about America’s bizarre tendency to re-elect shitty politicians in the hope that their second term will deliver what they failed to deliver in their first.

    As we bring the album to a close, Patriotic Shock sees the band raging against the seemingly futile way of trying to change the world by voting

    The complete track listing for Tyranny Of Will is as follows:

    Tyranny Of Will / I Won’t Go / Eyeball Gore / Bet On Black / Miserable Failure / The Living Skull / In Greed We Trust / Glocking Out / Rat Shit / U Lock The Bike Cop / Broken Bottles / Bleeding Frenzy / Bored To Death / Class Holes / Obsolete Man / Nameless / Exit The Game / Your Kid’s An Asshole / Patriotic Shock / Bill Of Fights / Consensual Harassment / Just Say Go / Four More Years

    Tyranny Of Will is available as a CD and also available on vinyl and in digital format. Twenty-four tracks in thirty-one minutes and thirty-nine seconds in total. Speed kills, kids, but Iron Reagan bring it. This album is fan-fucking-tastic and if you’re at all into classic thrash and/or hardcore, you’d be a fool not to check it out as soon as possible. On top of that, the album is “dedicated to our dear friend Dave “The Living Skull” Brockie” which is rad. Norm McDonald is thanked in the liner notes. Not sure why, but I still think he’s funny.

    Check out the video for Eyeball Gore!!!