Two decades have passed since Cro-Mags last released a studio record, a situation not helped by constant bickering behind the scenes. Now that talismanic bassist Harley Flanagan is firmly back in charge, the legendary NYC hardcore crew are picking up more or less where they left off.
Combining elements of all the band’s previous efforts, In The Beginning is a visceral hardcore record at heart, but it’s full of skewed stylistic detours and genuinely great tunes.
An opening one-two of Don’t Give You In and Drag You Under set the scene with strong echoes of Cro-Mags’ early classics, but this is sonically beefier and more hostile than anything Flanagan has done before.
No One’s Victim is a riot of flat-out thrash’n’roll; No One’s Coming salutes The Damned and Discharge in the bleakest, nastiest way possible; The Final Test is all ghoulish post-punk and Misfits crooning.
Most startling of all, Between Wars is a sprawling instrumental with sludgy, post-metal overtones, scything cellos and enough reverb and bass swell to drown out a police siren.
A monstrous comeback on all fronts.