Tag Archives: black flag

[pre-order] Iron Reagan – “Crossover Ministry”

Iron Reagan’s latest, “Crossover Ministry,” serves up a healthy dose of hardcore punk energy and attitude with thrash metal chops and aggression. Really the more that I listen to it the more Tony Foresta’s vocals remind of Tom Araya’s. It could also be that right now I’m listening to the track “More War” where Foresta alternates the title with sardonic battle cries of “let’s make more guns!” and “we live, you die.”

It’s pretty clear that Iron Reagan isn’t really going for the “evil” aesthetic like Slayer. The band does a much better job of capturing the overall spirit of hardcore punk. One can detect a touch of Black Flag and Fugazi  in some of the more biting lyric deliveries.

Take for example “Fuck the Neighbors.” Starting with a brief skit of a milquetoast neighbor wondering when the band’s loud party is going to end, the song counters with a steady pounding of muted eighth notes  with Foresta barking, “Fuck the neighbors, fuck your yard, the more you complain, the more we go hard,” and “not my problem!”

With “Grim Business,” heard above, the dual guitar attack storms through what seems like an epic two and a half minutes. Most tracks on “Crossover Ministry” hover within the one to two minute range. “Parents of Tomorrow” is the briefest track, clocking in at only seven seconds.

The hardcore punk ethos comes out in the brevity of the songs. Iron Reagan doesn’t seem particularly interested in languishing on lengthy introductions, or constructing complex transitions into extended solos. Every song starts out urgently, and doesn’t let up before an inevitably abrupt close. Sure, there are guitar solos on many of the songs, but they are definitely not the focal point by any means.

Great album from start to finish, showing that Iron Reagan is able to shred, and not take themselves all too seriously. This is exactly the album that we need right now. Blistering, forceful, and even a little bit cynical.
Pre-order Iron Reagan’s “Crossover Ministry” and tour dates
And you can find “Crossover Ministry” in any number of formats both physical and digital on either the Relapse site, or the band’s own bandcamp page.

You can also find the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Finally, Iron Reagan has a bunch of shows coming up to promote “Crossover Ministry.” Check them out below:

—All dates 2/24 – 3/17 with Power Trip —
Feb 24 Houston TX, Walter’s
Feb 25 New Orleans, LA Siberia
Feb 26 Birmingham, AL Saturn
Feb 27 Raleigh, NC Kings *
Feb 28 Richmond, VA Broadberry *+
Mar 01 Baltimore, MD Soundstage *+
Mar 02 New York, NY Marlin Room +&
Mar 03 Pittsburgh, PA Spirit +$
Mar 04 Cleveland, OH Now That’s Class +$
Mar 08 Montreal, QC Les Foufounes Electriques
Mar 09 Ottawa, ON Brass Monkey
Mar 10 Toronto, ON Velvet Underground
Mar 11 Detroit, MI Marble Bar
Mar 12 Chicago, IL Reggie’s
Mar 13 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
Mar 14 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews
Mar 16 Kansas City, MO Riot Room
Mar 17 Oklahoma City, OK 89th Street Collective

*w/ Genocide Pact
+w/Concealed Blade
&w/ Krimewatch
$w/ Protester

— With Wrong & Night Birds 3/22 – 3/24 —

Mar 22 Orlando, FL Will’s Pub
Mar 23 Miami, FL Churchill’s
Mar 24 Tampa, FL Crowbar
Mar 25 Greensboro, NC Blind Tiger

Re-release: Butthole Surfers

Butthole Surfers

One of, if not the, most notorious band of the past few decades, the Butthole Surfer, made their name with their acid soaked albums, drugged out, strobed out, live performances and in general just acting like (or actually being) insane people.

There’s good news, in case you may have missed your opportunity the first time (or perhaps you never even knew that you had an opportunity the first time) Latino Burger Veil has re-released, on vinyl, “Psychic Powerless…Another Man’s Sac,” “Rembrandt Pussyhorse,” “Locust Abortion Technician,” and “Hairway to Steven” for your listening pleasure.

The 4 long out of print albums, originally released on the mostly defunct Touch and Go Records imprint, have been reintroduced yet again to a (slightly less) unsuspecting public on the band’s own Latino Burger Veil records.

For the completely uninitiated, here’s a brief recap. Ok, you all know The Flaming Lips, right? Well, they basically got their start by aping the Butthole Surfers. It’s complete acid freak out rock. The album titles alone should probably be enough to give a clue as to what is going on.

Personally, I have their first two albums, “Psychic….Powerless….Another Man’s Sac” and “Rembrandt Pussyhorse,” and I’m still amazed and perplexed by the music. It’s really like nothing else you’ve heard before. I think that lately I have been tossing that phrase around a lot, though it is safe to say that for something like this, it’s pretty close to the absolute truth.

Negro Observer

If you haven’t read Michael Azerrad’s fantastic “Our Band Could Be Your Life,” which documents the American underground rock scene of the early 80s up to 1991, well first of all you need to do that right now. Seriously, as soon as you can. Read that book cover to cover. In that book Azerrad details the triumphs and struggles of, for example, The Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Big Black, Black Flag, and The Butthole Surfers, among others. One of the stories that I remember vividly from the book is about how at one point early in their career the Butthole Surfers were literally starving. Delirious and weak, band leader Gibby Haynes is crawling around on the ground for spare change not so he can buy food, but so the band can score some acid.

That’s what we are dealing with here. It’s pretty much the closest one can get to listening to controlled (barely) chaos. The songs thrash about wildly, held down by tribal pulsing and Haynes’ voice echoing ominously through the haze.

Waiting For Jimmy To Kick

And with a name like The Butthole Surfers, one would have to suspect that this is going to be antagonizing music. That assumption would be correct. Everything from their name, to their infamous early live shows that included projections of penis reconstruction surgery behind the band that played in near total darkness, with topless dancers lit by incessantly flashing strobe lights (there’s also the story about the one dancer that came to find out she was epileptic while performing at a show. Her uncontrollable vomiting then become a bonus visual to freak people out at that show).

Their output could sway every which way from the actual honest to goodness hooks and verse-chorus-verse structure of “Negro Observer,” to the truly trippy “Waiting for Jimmy To Kick,” or their cover of “American Woman.” Errr, excuse me, “American Women.” Anyway, if you haven’t heard them before, or if you have only heard a little bit, then please check out the music. It’s interesting and unique and documents an important time in the evolution of the American underground music scene and these four albums are worthy of being brought back to the attention of music fans that may have missed them the first time around.

There’s a ton of videos of them live on Youtube that you should check out. And then you should head over to your local record store to pick them up, or they can also be ordered online. If you’d like to check out the one-sheet that the band released to announce the reissues, you can check that out here.