IRON CROSS: Skinhead Glory: 7” EP

To say I’ve mixed feelings about this release would be a bit of an understatement. What you have here is a vinyl reissue of what is arguably the first U.S. oi release originally put out in 1982 jointly by Dischord and the band’s Skinflint Records. As with much involving the skinhead subculture, this release was not without some controversy, particularly with the song “Psycho Skin,” which was allegedly inspired by some of the members’ extracurricular activities, including assaulting unsuspecting homosexuals. Probably not eager to rehash said controversy, the offending track has been replaced here with an outtake from the same session, “Criminal Minds.” On the one hand, it’s great to see this reissued in its original medium, and the desire to avoid having to explain that song yet again, and avoid the often savagely puritanical ire of the punk community is totally understandable, and lord knows I’m no fan or defender of anyone who thinks it’s fun to beat up on anybody—gay, straight, mauve, oddly tall, or whatever. On the other hand, self-censoring by fiddling with the track order of a record that, warts and all, went on to influence a helluva lot of bands seems a bit disingenuous. Ah, fuck it, those who’ll find this interesting will dig it nonetheless, and fuck nitpicky bastards like me.

 –jimmy (TKO)