CROM: The Cocaine Wars 1974–1989: CS

Los Angeles’s Crom has been kicking around for decades now in several incarnations. The earlier years saw them as a shermed-out Anal Cunt drinking Steel Reserve for sustenance with blissful ignorance to the words “song” and “structure.” Singles, splits, and compilations were released left and right and then for quite some time: nothing. That is until the year 2001 when their creative dam blew its wad and out gushed The Cocaine Wars: a full length of monolithic proportions which I can only describe as the result of group sex between the genres of metal, doom, thrash, and powerviolence. This masterpiece of an album originally released in 2001 on Pessimiser and pressed only on the now deader than dead CD format. Cocaine Wars was the band’s figurative debutante ball where they emerged as beautiful, sophisticated “artists” displaying their newfound maturity in writing memorable riffs, discernable lyrics, and stringing the album together with a smorgasbord of Easter eggs and samples from Conan films all while donning Slayer, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, and even Doobie Brothers T-shirts and patches because their hessian, metal, and classic rock roots will always show. A total of thirty songs and “sorta” songs that spread their cheeks at the underground music world and anyone else who takes themselves seriously. I do realize that the cassette, too, is a dead format but just listen to this and tell me if you’d rather party with someone blaring these tunes from a rusted old Cadillac’s tape deck or from a cell phone synched to a Prius. Take a bow, Crom. –Juan Espinosa (To Live A Lie / Snow Goat)