Live For Now!
Iron Cross: the band who were so erroneously misconstrued as Nazi skins back in the day, the band who were a launching pad for both Mark Haggarty (Gray Matter, 3, Severin) and Dante Fernando (Gray Matter, Ignition), the band whose three tracks on the immortal Flex Your Head compilation I enjoyed so heartily nearly a decade ago. So imagine my youthful glee when Live For Now! landed in my lap. A 16-track collection of their two seven-inches and aforementioned comp appearance, as well as additional previously unreleased songs from all those sessions, Live For Now! displays a young punk band full of piss n’ vinegar during their most crucial years (’81-’83), the four-piece sticking out from the beginning by eschewing the nearly uniform speedfreakin’ blasts of their Washington, D.C., contemporaries for a nearly uniform mid-tempo plod, the band discernibly drawing influence more from Sham 69 or Blitz than The Circle Jerks or Black Flag like said contemporaries. Basically, you’ve gotta understand that Minor Threat and Void were all the rage in D.C. at the time, so Iron Cross were kinda an eyesore (earsore?), especially when things got all dark and epic • relatively, as this is punk rock, after all • on such songs as “Shadows in the Night” and “Wolfpack,” sounding fumblingly scrappy and doggedly ambitious simultaneously, fittingly attracting a slew of fans as quickly and intensely as they repelled ’em. All told, if you’ve ever heard “New Breed,” “You’re A Rebel,” “Fight ‘Em All,” or the title track, you know how damn essential this is, and that’s notwithstanding the anecdotal liner notes and plethora of timeless photos and flyers. Besides, collecting all this would’ve cost a pretty penny, and it’s been, like, the digital age for almost ten years now. Live For Now, indeed.
GMM Records, PO Box 15234, Atlanta, GA 30333