Review: Cro-Mags’ “2020”
The soundtrack of this turbulent year is here and the Cro-Mags are leading the charge
The year 2020 has been a harsh one on us all, it’s exposed the nightmarish realities that the government and the elite are willing to put us, the rightful citizens of this world through in order to keep the status quo. People who before the quarantine were able to hide in their privilege and the safety of their lives suddenly had the world thrusted unto their lap the way those who had been oppressed have all their lives. We’ve gone through a global pandemic, lockdown after lockdown and despite the repeated attempts from scientists and the worlds greatest minds to remind us to mask up and stay safe, the death toll from COVID-19 is rising higher and higher every day.
Since the extensive quarantine has hit the globe the music scene has suffered particularly hard. The year 2020 has been devoid of the amazing sound of new music, particularly heavy music. Bands dwelling in the underground have been presented with little opportunity to spread their music to others since live shows are generally how they make their name, so they’ve had to come up with their own inventive ways of keeping their audience and possibly spreading it.
This turbulent year marked a return for one of most turbulent and endearing bands: New York Hardcore pioneers the Cro-Mags. After years of lawsuits and band strife between Age Of Quarrel vocalist John Joseph and founder/ bassist Harley Flanagan the latter finally reclaimed ownership of the Cro-Mags name and in June released the bands first album in 20 years, receiving positive reception and cementing the bands true return in the hardcore world.
It seems like no other band has had a more successful year than the Cro-Mags and the irony shouldn’t be lost on us all. The band has lived through so much turbulence and inner destruction that it seems like 2020 found them in their element. After announcing the release for the new album In The Beginning earlier this year the band got busy booking shows leading up to and after the release. One of the first was their show with Body Count at the famous Webster Hall club in New York City, where 8 years prior Flanagan was arrested for supposedly stabbing and biting his replacement in John Joseph’s incarnation of…