I’ve never denied my unabashed appreciation of this band, one that extends back to 1982 or so, when I first picked up Flex Your Head at a long-gone record store/head shop in Montebello. While they weren’t as speedy as SOA or Minor Threat, something about that primal sound they unleashed on songs like “War Games,” and the tracks on their Skinhead Glory 7” EP just hit something deep inside this angry East L.A. kid and it wasn’t long before I was writing their name all over everything. That said, I was pleased as punch that Sab had gotten the band back together again and eagerly awaited some new material. Well, here some is and, uh, it ain’t quite up there with their earlier work. Sure, you can’t expect the same ol’ shit, especially when you’re talking about a gap in product stretching over two decades, but frankly, the bulk of the stuff here—courtesy of both the current incarnation of Iron Cross and Sab’s other band, the Royal Americans—sounds like yer average American oi band, right down to the almost obligatory cover of Cock Sparrer’s “Running Riot.” It ain’t outright terrible, mind you, so much as it is pedestrian. I kept waiting for that old fire to build up in the pit of my stomach, but it never did. Ah well.
–jimmy (13th State)