All Praise the Ministry of Iron Reagan.
Usually, it’s better when enjoyable things in life last longer than a couple minutes. Of all the obvious instances where increased positivity and, to be frank, pleasure are directly correlated with longer durations of time, there’s one case in particular where a few seconds is all that’s needed – with the songs on Iron Reagan’s newest Relapse release, Crossover Ministry.
Comparing Crossover Ministry’s 18 tracks to the often disappointing “one-pump chump” isn’t in any way a slight towards the southern supergroup. It is actually quite the contrary, because within the confines of the album’s overall short length are some of the most well-crafted thrashcore songs in recent years. Iron Reagan can turn water into thrash-tinged wine with just a few seconds – with Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste as a frontman, that level of expertise is to be expected. Even the shortest spurts, like the 45-second-long “You Never Learn,” offer the perfect amount of time for quick-paced circle pitting. And even shorter, “No Sell” (14 seconds long) and “Parents of Tomorrow” (7 seconds long) compare in vigor to songs thirty times their length.
More than just mastering greatness in under a minute, Iron Reagan have found the ripe balance between punk, hardcore and humor. The line between punk and hardcore isn’t that thick and Iron Reagan continuously hop over it like crossover kings. But it is the youthful, IDGAF comedic air lying underneath the surface of their songs that is one of Crossover Ministry‘s most endearing qualities. “Fuck Your Neighbors” is an anthem for anyone living in the vicinity of yuppie prudes who hate loud music, and even includes a fun little sketch of such a scenario as the cherry on top (embracing the same, straight-to-the-point, bratty attitude as their track “Your Kid’s an Asshole from 2014’s The Tyranny of the Will). “More War” is a nasty, satirical ditty, obviously aimed at the government, and the graveyard creeping of “Dead With My Friends” isn’t actually about the band wanting to be dead with their homies, hopefully.
There really isn’t any moment of Crossover Ministry that disappoints and, for the excitable, foot-stomping, happy, hardcore mosher, this is easily one of the best albums of the new year.