“A scorched-earth hardcore march, their punishing and ruthless best songs” – ROLLING STONE
“Hardcore heroes” – THE GRAMMYS
“Riveting hardcore” – LA TIMES
“Blazing hardcore pioneers” – REVOLVER
“An assault of what’s to come” – OUTBURN
“Perfect crossover thrash riffage” – BROOKLYN VEGAN
“Incredibly intense, literally dripping with anger” – DOWN FOR LIFE
HAPPY RELEASE DAY!
Today, New York’s hardcore punk legends CRO-MAGS released their new single »From The Grave« and its new limited 7″ EP-vinyls »From The Grave« which come in four different colours via Arising Empire!
Listen and buy your limited 7″ EP-vinyl »From The Grave« here: https://Cro-Mags.lnk.to/FromTheGrave
2019 was a roller coaster year for CRO-MAGS founder, bassist and vocalist Harley Flanagan. From regaining sole ownership of the band name he created, to playing with his childhood friends in the re-united Misfits, CRO–MAGS took their punk-fueled legacy across the US and Europe, released their first music video in 27 years, and put out their first music in nearly 20 years via two EPs – »Don’t Give In« (released in June) and »From The Grave« (available today). The three song EP is available on limited 7″ vinyl editions of black, gold, yellow and glow in the dark. Flanagan gives a track by track breakdown below.
“From The Grave” – The title track features former Motorhead slinger Phil Campbell on lead and slide guitar, as Flanagan comments, “I first met Phil when we toured with Motorhead on the Orgasmatron tour. He is one of my favorite guitarists of all time and I still can’t believe I have him playing on one of my songs!” Campbell adds, “We hung out a lot during the tour in the eighties. When I heard the track he wanted me to do, I just had to do it.”
“PTSD” – “Basically the song is about just that, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, something that I have dealt with in my life, and during the time of the recording I was dealing with it a lot. The fact is I didn’t know I had PTSD until my friend and Navy Seal Jocko Willink told me without a doubt I had PTSD. I thought it related only to combat veterans but that is not the case at all, and this song is metaphoric for the battles and struggles faced in life. It was therapeutic to get some of it out on paper, and it also caused me to reach out to people that are able to help me – real life, real life stories, real emotion, real soul searching.”
“Between Wars (Instrumental)” – “This is an instrumental track I wrote for the forthcoming film Between Wars that I have a role in alongside Michael Imperioli (Sopranos, Goodfellas). Every single day I walk around New York City, on the streets and in the subway, where I see all these street musicians and hear all their sounds and I asked myself how do I bring these elements into my record – how do I take the listener into my life, into the city that I grew up in, into this experience? And every day at Penn Station I would pass a cellist, this guy with braids and tattoos on his face, sometimes playing with his kid who is playing violin. The emotional tone he brought out of the cello really struck me and at a certain point, after tracking a particular piece of music, it hit me – this cello was the perfect sound to be in this piece of music.
So I approached Carlos ‘Lamont’ Cooper, a former gang member who did time and has been shot multiple times, asking him to play on the record. He reads music and is classically trained, having learned how to play in public school (when there were music programs!), and plays on a much more elevated level than most I have known in metal or hardcore.”
With Flanagan, the CRO-MAGS are rounded out with guitarists Rocky George (Suicidal Tendencies, Fishbone), Gabby Abularach, and drummer Garry “G-Man” Sullivan and their full length album is set for release in early 2020, their first since the album Revenge (2000).”
»From The Grave« tracklist:
01. From The Grave
03. Between Wars (Instrumental)
Save your limited 7″ EP-vinyl »Don’t Give In« here: https://Cro-Mags.lnk.to/DontGiveIn
»Don’t Give In« tracklist:
01. Don’t Give In
02. Drag You Under
03. No One’s Victim
The history of the CRO-MAGS is integral to the history of Hardcore, it’s evolution from punk and the development of alternative music genres such as hardcore, cross-over, thrash metal, post punk and grunge to name a few. Numerous iconic bands from METALLICA to GREEN DAY, and individuals such as Dave Grohl have credited CRO-MAGS with having had a primal influence on their development.
Born out of the violence and depravity of the Lower East Side of New York in the late 70s and early 80s, the CRO-MAGS was the brain-child of a very young Harley Flanagan (at the time 14 years old) when still playing with THE STIMULATORS. By 1982/83 he wrote and recorded the very first CRO-MAGS demos consisting of four songs that would become the blue print for the seminal 1986 »Age of Quarrel«. He wrote all of the music, played each instrument and sang. Before long he connected with Parris Mayhew and the two started writing music and auditioning band members.
After several line-ups, 5 studio albums (beyond the original demos) and 30 + years of tours around the world, CRO-MAGS remains one of the most iconic hardcore bands with arguably the greatest reach beyond the genre.
“In the Beginning”
Why now? In Harley’s words: “Lemmy came to me in a dream and said, ‘Take it back mate, it’s yours, you started it.’ The fact is, I never legally lost the name Cro-Mags, others were using it without my permission, while I was raising my kids. An agreement was struck with the previous members and I regained full control over the name worldwide. Now with an amazing line up and 2 record deals I am moving forward. I have a great team of people behind me; I have never felt stronger, better or more creative.”
And so bassist Harley Flanagan has reached a settlement with singer John Joseph and drummer Mackie Jayson regarding ownership of the CRO-MAGS name. Flanagan will now perform under the name CRO-MAGS while Joseph and Jayson will perform as CRO-MAGS “JM”.
In 2019 Cro-Mags signed with Victory Records and Arising Empire.
The single: consist of 3 tracks, ‘Don’t Give In’, ‘Drag You Under’, and ‘No One’s Victim’.
Harley: “The lyrics are meant to inspire and kick you in the ass when you need it. Some might not take them that way, but that’s my intention. Sometimes you need someone to tell you to man-the-fuck-up, or woman-up, cause life ain’t easy and you will get crushed if you don’t. I wrote them more for myself than anyone else, cause sometimes I need to hear these things, as I think we all do.”
Some of them were inspired by loss, the loss of friends, by suicide, cancer, struggling with depression, mortality and ultimately the beauty of life. You have to be able to recognize it, even when you’re suffering and struggling. Although we all fight our own personal battles, and they vary, none of us are alone in the fact that we have to fight our battles, and many of them we must fight alone. In that way, we all have something in common, besides needing basic things like food water and shelter. We also must learn how to cope with struggle and mortality. Some rise to the top while others crash and burn.
I feel like I crashed and burned enough times that I somehow managed to rise back to the top. I feel stronger, happier mentally, spiritually and physically than I have in years; and it did not come without a struggle or cost. But that is life; you have to fight for what you want, and you also have to know how temporary it all is.
The single and album feature, along with Harley Flanagan, Gabby Abularach (Gil Evans Orchestra, amongst many other projects) who played on Cro-Mags’ »Alpha Omega« (1992) and »Near Death Experience« (1993); Rocky George (formerly of Suicidal Tendencies and Fishbone) who played on Cro-Mags’ »Revenge« (2000); and Gary “GMan” Sullivan (who has played with everyone from the B-52‘s, Berny Worrel of Parliament Funkadelic, TM Stevens etc.), who joined Cro-Mags in the 90s.
• »The Age Of Quarrel« (1986)
• »Best Wishes« (1989)
• »Alpha Omega« (1992)
• »Near Death Experience« (1993)
• »Revenge« (2000)
Harley Flanagan | bass/vocals
Gabby Abularach | guitars
Rocky George | guitars
Garry “G-Man” Sullivan | drums