Spoiler Alert: This record fucking rocks. Go buy it right now.
Okay, now that you’ve made your good decision for the week, I’ll proceed with the review.
The album starts off strong with the tracks “A Dying World” and “You Never Learn”. They set the tone of the album as a catchy head banger that you can’t help but sing and move along to. When "Grim Business" kicks in, you can tell this record is really something special. The riffs in this song are killer, and it is easy to see why this was chosen as the first single off the record. The double “EAGHCK” throat clear definitely got my attention and let me know it’s time to thrash. To be honest, heavy metal hasn’t seen anything that extreme since Spinal Tap got amps that go to 11. I kid, but the album definitely does not lack in the attitude and ass kicking departments. It’s not exactly innovative but you can tell that the band is becoming willing to try new things.
The first time I heard the next track "Dead with my friends”, which opens with an uncharacteristically slow piano intro, I had to check to make sure my music player wasn’t on shuffle. While the track eventually kicks into more of a standard thrash feel, it’s refreshing to hear things I never really thought would be on an Iron Reagan record.
This feeling continues throughout the rest of the album. The songs are all immediately identifiable as Iron Reagan, but none of it feels formulaic or boring in the least. Rather, the record is packed with memorable songs that are just really fun. The album seesaws back and forth between tougher, more aggressive songs, such as "More War" and "Shame Spiral," and punkier, lighthearted tracks like "Dogsnotgods" and "Fuck the Neighbors." I could be completely wrong here, but it really feels like the band put more thought and effort into Crossover Ministry than their previous releases.
The production is also notably better than the last few records. Everything is really crisp and distortion choices on the guitars and (noticeably audible) bass really augment the aggressive feel of the record. The vocals have extra gain compared to previous IR releases and it really does them justice. Crossover Ministry has a healthy dose of the staple hardcore garnishes, with enough gang vocals and sound bits to appease even the most jaded of hardcore kids, thrasher dudes, and aging butt rockers. Catch it in full on 2/3.
- Old Dirty Dan