The Word Alive
The Cellar, Southampton, UK - 1/12
Est. 1980 EP
Written by: PP on 17/10/2012 02:01:53
Iron Cross were one of the pioneering Oi! / street punk bands in the US back during the early 80s. Despite only releasing two EPs in 1982 and 1983, respectively, they gained some posthumous notoriety through Agnostic Front's decision to cover their most famous song "Crucified" in 1987, long after the band had called it a day, which has since then become a skinhead anthem across the world. The band itself has taken care to denounce any connection with racism/fascism and other negative connotations that word has taken since then, despite sporting a skinhead look through the 80s, so we're still in the dark about the true, behind-the-scenes opinions of the band from three decades ago.
Fast-forward to the modern days, and the band have decided to reunite for one final run at world domination, or more likely, just to record a couple of catchy street punk / Oi! tracks with simple guitar chords and characteristically old school British punk style vocals. Think Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects and that sort of thing. "Est. 1980" is their first EP in almost thirty years, and pretty much nothing has changed sound wise for the band other than the production. With a cleaner guitar sound, they're now able to achieve the short of gang singalongs in beer-stained venues with pints raised high up in the air, especially on the 30th year anniversary edition of their only true classic track, "Crucified". But "Wasted In DC" and "Strike First" both also provide enjoyable, mid-paced Cockney-style oi! punk with raw guitars and drunken, beer-flavored vocals designed for the fists-in-the-air type of live interaction from the crowd. Originality has been thrown out the window, or has it? After all, they were the first Oi! punk band in the US according to many, so I guess it's fair that 30 years later they're still playing the same tunes. Either way, "Est. 1980" EP shows no rust on their behalf and demonstrates that Iron Cross, despite their skinhead references, still know how to write catchy street punk capable of standing against their modern contemporaries in the genre.
Download: Crucified (30 Year Edition), Wasted In DC
For the fans of: The Last Resort, Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects, Sex Pistols,
Release date 22.03.2012