Release Details

LABEL Relapse
RELEASED ON 2/3/2017
GENRES Thrash,Crossover
  • Is relevant social commentary pertinent to today too much to ask for?


Iron Reagan

Crossover Ministry

posted on 1/2017   By: Dave Schalek

Is relevant social commentary pertinent to today too much to ask for from a band calling itself Iron Reagan? Apparently. A couple of weeks ago, I expressed my hope that Iron Reagan would take the politics of 2016 by the balls and run with it, offering a scathing commentary on the electorate’s step backwards (I’m wearing my politics on my sleeve). And, why not? Metal offers itself as an unabashed view of the negative aspects of the human condition, and if the time isn’t ripe for such introspection, then I don’t know what is.

Instead, Iron Reagan plays it totally safe with Crossover Ministry. It’s as if time has stood still in the decades between Dealing With It and Money Talks, and today. Instead of giving its audience a timely critique, Crossover Ministry treats us to proclamations about nosy neighbors, environmental concerns that appear to be no direr than they were 30 years ago, and an almost good natured ribbing of megachurches similar to that popularized by the Church Lady bit on Saturday Night Live.

Sorry, that’s not good enough, especially, since, musically, Crossover Ministry isn’t nearly as searing as Worse Than Dead. Yes, all of the genre tropes are given a fair showing here; that is, fast riffing, lots of galloping speed, the requisite shouts from Tony Foresta, etc. But, there’s nothing new here, musically or otherwise, as Iron Reagan is checking items off of the genre checklist. D.R.I. downshifted after Dealing With It, so why shouldn’t Iron Reagan do the same three albums in? There’s a decided lack of fierce passion to Crossover Ministry, plain and simple. To be fair, I do not have access to a lyric sheet, but other political bands, such as Napalm Death, manage to make their lyrical intentions quite clear.

Other than the nostalgia that is aimed squarely at my age demographic, what’s the point? The average youngster has no personal connection to the Reagan era, and is now about to get four to eight years (or more; do you really think that they will cede power so easily?) of what could be a seismic wave of cultural oppression. Should such a listener look to Iron Reagan as an outlet for frustrations (frustrations that can barely be articulated by an adolescent) as Dealing With It was, for example, for me more than 30 years ago?

Of course, a part of this review (ok, well, most of it) is my own frustration spilling over into my critique of what is ultimately just a crossover thrash metal band that probably shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than Dave Mustaine’s InfoWars commercials masquerading as song lyrics. But, art serves as a lens through which we view ourselves. We want that view to have relevance. I’m just not finding it in Crossover Ministry.




Related

Iron Reagan
The Tyranny of Will
9/16/2014