Release Date: Sep 16, 2014
Record label: Relapse Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
In just two years of existence, Richmond crossover punks Iron Reagan have cranked out two EPs and two albums for a grand total of over 60 songs. Granted, most of them are only about a minute long, but still, we’d be hard-pressed to name another band so prolific. Given that vocalist Tony Foresta and guitarist Phil Hall are also members of thrash warriors Municipal Waste, it’s even more impressive.
Iron Reagan’s second album in two years, The Tyranny of Will, finds the group of metalheads continuing to revel in ‘80s-style hardcore punk. The bands name-checked as inspirations (Cro-Mags, D.R.I.), will be familiar to longtime fans of the style, but for me the closest comparison was to another side project/supergroup, ‘80s heroes S.O.D. Sonically, the fit between the two bands isn’t exact (Stormtroopers of Death had more thrash in their sound than Iron Reagan), but the story is similar.
A decade after his death (two since he left office), former president Ronald Reagan continues to be a subject of many a musical effigy, but it's been a while since the hardcore community had him as its muse. Enter Iron Reagan, a Richmond band composed of members from notable crossover thrash groups like Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour, who are the jellybean cowboy's latest invokers. While their sound places them as political punk in the vein of Wasted Youth or the Crucifucks, Iron Reagan's lyrical tendencies skew nihilstic and violent with a dash of odd humor.
Iron Reagan The Tyranny of Will (Relapse) Reigning clown prince of metal, Iron Reagan collides members of Municipal Waste, Mammoth Grinder, and Cannabis Corpse into a thrashcore party. Sophomore grenade The Tyranny of Will shrapnels 24 songs in 31 minutes, and not just quick-and-dirty snippets, either. Whether politically charged ("Exit the Game," "In Greed We Trust," "Class Holes") or just pissed off ("Bleeding Frenzy," "Miserable Failure," "Obsolete Man"), the quintet spits out riffs, bridges, verses, and choruses like any pop star – just twice as fast and five times as brutish.