Being in a thrash metal band sure looks like a hell of a lot of fun. You get to pay homage to the metal greats, incite swirling circle pits and play songs with lyrics ranging from the horrors of nuclear war to the joys of being a borderline alcoholic. It’s no surprise then that the genre is still mightily popular despite not really evolving since the 80s.
In fact, it’s so much fun to be in a thrash band, that for some of those in the scene, one band is not enough. That’s presumably why Tony Foresta and Landphil from Municipal Waste formed Iron Reagan, who differ from their parent band by having slightly shorter songs and a cruder, garage-based approach. Or maybe it’s because they just want to rock the fuck out, which is exactly what sophomore record The Tyranny of Will (Relapse) does in spades.
Less concerned with the goofy, beer-obsessed cartoonish approach that is the Municipal Waste operandi, Iron Reagan play old-school thrash served up with an unhealthy mix of hardcore punk and the occasional dirty splash of crust and even hints of grind. Imagine the members of the modern thrash scene brawling with the likes of Stormtroopers of Death, D.R.I. and the Cro-Mags in a skate-park covered in flyers for old punk shows and you get the idea of what’s going on here.
There’s some great thrash workouts such as ‘Tyranny of Will’ ‘Close to Toast’ and ‘Miserable Failure’ while the brief yet savage blasts of ‘Glocking Out’ ‘Your Kid’s an Asshole’ and ‘Bored to Death’ will delight those who still scrawl giant X’s on their hands at gigs. Add in some hilarious lyrical concepts courtesy of the dearly departed Dave Brockie of GWAR and it’s no wonder why Foresta et al decided to make Iron Reagan more than just a side-project. And what a good decision that was, for The Tyranny of Will is a blast for all of its infectious 31 minutes.