CD review CRO-MAGS ‘2020’ (EP)

Cro-Mags have been ready to embark on a worldwide tour with a supposed start at Webster Hall in New York City in March 2020. The tour never got off the ground due to the upcoming pandemic, with gatherings and concerts having been banned. To not become paralyzed and passive, Harley Flanagan and band mates played one of the very first quarantine shows, taking place on March 15th, 2020. It was also the beginning of work on new songs, trying to add something positive to a clearly unfortunate situation. In a way, this approach also reflects a certain mindset of not letting you get down by certain situation. It’s more to adjust the game plan and still being able to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Of course, it’s not always that easy, but it is a way to stay active, instead of drowning in self-pity.

‘2020’ is an EP that was already released in December 2020 and comes now via Arising Empire, also in a vinyl and CD format. The EP features six songs and has a running time of 20 minutes and 20 seconds. ‘Age of Quarantine’ starts off this release and begins with a drum beat and bass before evolving quickly into an aggressive Cro-Mags smasher that addresses the beginning of 2020.

The second songs ‘2020’ is a dark vibe anthem that reflects the craziness of 2020 in a good way, leading to ‘Life on Earth’, which looks at the situation eleven months later. The song is a grooving hardcore track, that comes with a sinister vibe also. In a way, ‘2020’ is more than solely a title of an EP. It’s a documentation of a year, split in six musical chapters that ends with ‘Chaos in the Streets’ and ‘Crofusion’, the latter being part of a freestyle jam that shows the entire confusion in a musical dress.

If you haven’t listened to this EP so far, I can just recommend doing this, also, but not only because of Cro-Mags’ strong return called ‘In the Beginning’ from 2019.  This release captures the vibe and mood of a time, that was and is new to all of us. And if we are all just look at the glass half empty, it will be ride on the razor’s edge.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Age of Quarantine
  2. 2020
  3. Life on Earth
  4. Violence and Destruction
  5. Chaos in the Streets
  6. Crofusion

Label: Arising Empire

Genre: Hardcore

Release Date EU: April 9th, 2021

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