Harley Flanagan Is Still Old School

Harley Flanagan

Cro-Mags

MVD Audio, 2016

This is a classic, true to form, old-school hardcore album. Clocking in at 24 heart pounding minutes, this is a musical dust up meant to motivate and agitate. Naming a solo release after the legendary band he co-founded may seem CroMagsARTunusual, but Flanagan’s been at odds with them for some time. Much of the lyrical theme seems to focus on his recent troubles with his former band mates.

Harley’s signature sand-blasted growl is in full effect here and as coarse as ever. Kicking off hard with “I come in Peace,” the tracks come at you, tireless and unrelenting. “Betrayal” and “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” are stand out tracks, the latter sporting a sweet guitar lead. “I’ll Fuck You Up” is as punishingly tough as it is brief.

“Ascending” is a quiet and unexpected, but welcome instrumental, breaking up the dense slabs of noise with a moment of reserved introspection.

Closing out with the longest track, “Trust No One,” Flanagan is back on, and going for broke. With some metal touches, but leaning more heavily to punk and hardcore, this is the sound of turmoil. Internal and personal conflicts fleshed out, hard, fast; in manic, uneasy bursts, in an attempt to excise demons the best way he knows. Screaming about it ’till he owns the ache which once troubled him.