Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cro-Mags post-Age Of Quarrel 2fer

For the first time since my humble beginnings with this blog back when I used to host it at Posterous, I'm all caught up. I have no backlog of new records to write about. Which is, in a way, quite depressing. But there's always something new on the way, and I received this Cro-Mags double whammy last week.

Who knew that after Age Of Quarrel the Cro-Mags went all thrash crossover and awesome?! Probably a lot of people did. Like, thousands of people. I didn't though. I must have read the phrase 'sounds like Best Wishes-era Cro Mags' a dozen times and always thought that it must have a different sound to Quarrel and that I ought to check that out. Well I finally did, loved it and started to look around for a copy of the album. eBay had some on the boil for varying prices but it seems that record collecting roads lead to Endless Quest, as I found that Marcus had Best Wishes and follow up Alpha Omega in his For Sale list. I inquired and was sent a couple of pictures of the 2 records on offer. The sleeve for Best Wishes wasn't in the greatest condition due to a previous owner before Marcus got hold of it, so I considered it for a bit but decided I'd just take Alpha Omega for now, as the dinged up sleeve of Best Wishes would probably bug me and I'd end up buying a mint condition one in the end anyway. So here's Alpha Omega:

Alpha Omega came out 3 years after Best Wishes on the Century Media label in 1992 and is even more late 80's metal & thrash influenced than that album. In fact, it's almost a straight up metal album. Sure some of it sounds a little cheesy now and there's even a bit of rapping going on in Eyes Of Tomorrow but that was acceptable in 1992. I love this album, cheese and all. In fact that might be why I love it even more. The riffs are massive, that's all that matters. The last 2 minutes in the track Apocalypse Now are a masterclass on hardcore breakdowns.
When this was released, I was 8 years old and far more interested in collecting these:


Just as I was about to send some e-money over though, Marcus got back in touch and said that if I added a bit of extra in for postage, he'd send me Best Wishes anyway. Fo' free! So I did. Thanks dude.

Released on Profile in 1989, the reverb on the drums and guitars leading into the first track Death Camps spell one thing and it begins with a 'T' and ends in 'hrash'. I was instantly into this album as soon as it started, very much a 'where has this album been all my life' moment. I love that hardcore can still do this to me after 10 plus years of following it. Not counting my wilderness years.

Hard as nails right? Sure the sleeve has seen better days but all I have to do is listen to the 3 part solo on Death Camps and I genuinely don't care about anything. Stoked to have snatched these on vinyl fairly quickly after getting into them.

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