Old school punk music at its best
New York hardcore punk band Cro-Mags have been creating a righteous sound since 1981, and despite the legal hardship the band faced in 2009, the music still lived on through the hearts of their fans. After 20 years, this is the year for Cro-Mags. They released their sixth studio album, In The Beginning, back in June, and this month brings more joy because the band is back with 2020 EP. Harley Flanagan’s bass guitar skills shake the background with deep riffs, and his vocal style is amazing because his strong voice brings power to each track. Meanwhile, guitarists Gabby Abularach and Rocky George’s guitar playing amplifies the atmosphere with blazing guitar notes, and Garry Sullivan’s drum playing contributes to the madness by how he plays on a faster musical tempo. Cro-Mags are back with 2020 EP, and they have not lost their touch with creating hardcore punk music.
Opening song “Age of Quarantine” welcomes people to Cro-Mags’ crazy world, and hearing the sounds of the guitars is the best part because they bring the sound of classic punk rock. Flanagan, Abularach and George’s skills shine brightly because of how they play mind-blowing guitar riffs that can shake the souls of those who are listening. On “Age of Quarantine,” all three guitarists do a great job of keeping this piece together by using their talents to create smashing guitar notes.
Harmonic “2020” is a softer composition that has powerful drum playing by Sullivan. The timbre here is different from the previous song, with each instrument being played on a lower scale, and Sullivan does beautifully with creating low and rhythmic drum beats that keep this piece together with that signature punk rock sound. Sullivan is playing fast-paced, and he does a good job with staying attuned to the musical structure. If fans want to hear sweet drum playing, “2020” can fulfill their expectations because Sullivan shows who he is as a musician while he plays bright, energetic drum beats.
Short but sweet “Life on Earth” shows how authoritative Flanagan’s vocal style can be. It is enjoyable to hear Flanagan using his low and powerful voice because that grunginess creates havoc while he sings. His vocal style is also catchy, causing listeners to bob their heads while hearing the music. The best part of the entire composition is how Flanagan chants out the chorus because the sound of his voice creates more emotions and madness everytime he says “Life on earth.”
Crazy “Chaos in the Streets” is a great example of what old school hardcore punk sounds like. Punk is known for having skull crushing sound from the vocals and instrumentation, and on this track, each guitar riff blazes the atmosphere with ear-bleeding noise, the drum playing shakes the background with high octane hits and the vocals compliment the tune with high pitched shouting. “Chaos in the Streets” is by far the best song on the album because it shows how Cro-Mags are still capable of playing an energetic punk style.
The last song, “Cro-Fusion,” has dynamic bass guitar playing from Flanagan. Right at the beginning of the song, the sound of deep riffs can be heard rumbling in the background, and the noise adds a wonderful musical madness. Throughout the entire song, Flanagan is playing his bass guitar on a higher and faster musical structure, ratcheting up the insanity. “Cro-Fusion” is a great piece of work because of how Flanagan is capable of producing wild riffs that can cause some people to air guitar while listening.
In the end, 2020 EP is filled with sharp and powerful music that proves old school hardcore punk is still alive in today’s music scene.