IRON CROSS: Live for Now: CD

These guys were one of my favorite bands when I was young, bald, and didn’t own a pair of pants without holes in ‘em. In my band’s practice space beneath my house, we would crank “New Breed” over and over, driving those less appreciative of Iron Cross’ grumbling fury bananas. Their name was scrawled on everything with a surface in that little room, from lyric notebook to ceiling to milk crate-turned-into-chair furniture. I loved this fucking band. For some reason, though, I always found myself being hassled by pigs whenever I wore one pair of torn up Levis with this band’s name scribbled on them. I remember being drunk at a party one particular night (which actually was a pretty common occurrence for me as a kid) and spending almost an hour trying to explain in slurred speech that a. being a Mexican kid from East LA, I was not a nazi; b. that the band was not a nazi band, just one with an unfortunate name; and c. that I was most certainly NOT drunk. This was way before the whole bald head=nazi dumbass thing, mind you. Anyway, at least two of the three responses were true, the most important here being that these guys weren’t a nazi band. Although reviled and misunderstood in their own scene and ignored by most outside it, they were nonetheless one of DC’s finest punk rock outfits, woefully under-appreciated in their time and damn near forgotten in the period between then and now. They also have the distinction of being one of the (of not thee) best “skinhead” bands ever to come outta the United States (a feat not too amazing in retrospect, considering the dismal quality and embarrassing track record of bald boy bands thus far produced in this country). Unlike other bands that feel some need to constantly flex some “working class” pose in thought and deed, these guys were the real deal, penning songs that dealt with actual events in their lives and scene. Submitted for your listening enjoyment are the songs from both their Skinhead Glory and Hated and Proud EPs, remixed versions of the tracks from the Flex Your Head comp, and assorted unreleased gems. And yes, after all the years that have passed by, these guys are still one of my favorite bands. Even if you are not one of today’s flock of shaven sheep, do yourself a favor and pick this puppy up. Punk rock rarely gets any better than this.

 –jimmy (GMM)