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Friday, April 25, 2014

Iron Reagan -- Lawrence, KS -- April 24th, 2014

"We're going to play 37 songs, so we'll be done in about 15 minutes."

Iron Reagan may not have hit the 37-song mark Thursday night at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence, but they came close and had a rambunctious time doing it.

Iron Reagan is a four-piece crossover hardcore/thrash band from Richmond, VA featuring members of Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour. Their music is the aggressiveness of old-school hardcore bands like Spazz and Black Flag, but with the riffing and fun demeanor of current thrash bands, like the aforementioned Municipal Waste. The band was in good (and drunken) spirits for the whole show - only the drums were set up on the stage, everyone else was out on the floor of the Replay Lounge, sometimes even venturing into the mosh pit to perform. The band ripped through at least twenty songs in half an hour - maybe more - which included songs like "Eat Shit And Live," "Snake Chopper," and the 7-second opus "Your Kid's An Asshole," which the band performed twice in a row. In fact, Iron Reagan performed the first five songs from their recent 4 1/2 minute EP "Spoiled Identity." Vocalist Tony Forresta exclaimed heavy metal magazine commissioned them for something 5-minutes long to include with an issue of the magazine. "Most band's give them one song, we gave them 13." Near the end of the set, Iron Reagan performed a cover of "Don't Tread On Me" by Cro-Mags, and from the first note of that song, the Replay was a battleground for 90 seconds. Personally, I've never seen a venue go from mild enjoyment to complete and utter chaos in such a short time before. The band ended their set with Tony Forresta chucking his mic at the speaker, pulling down part of the Replay's ceiling and dismantling the drummer's kit in a true punk rock fashion. Certainly one of the most memorable shows the Replay has had in quite some time.

Touring with Iron Reagan is their fellow Richmond friends in Occultist. Occultist, with their two guitars and one extremely thick bass, had a much heavier sound that Iron Reagan - they play a very crusty style of death/thrash metal, almost like Amebix or even Extreme Noise Terror. Again, most of the band was set up on the floor and vocalist K.Z. was out in the crowd, pushing the punk's in attendance to start some moshing. Occultist had very heavy riffs and even some pretty impressive guitar solos - a great contrast to the simple (yet infectious) bands they were sandwiched between.

Opening the show was Vomit Assault, the crust warriors from Lawrence. Vomit Assault looks like they should play solely Discharge covers, but their sound was very unique - there were definitely its crust punk moments, but most of the songs (mostly 7 - 9 minutes in length!) had elements of progressive, sludge and heavy metal in them, including some pretty original melodies coming from the bassist and guitar player. They play both styles, metal and punk, pretty nicely, and not a whole lot of bands can do that. Interesting stuff from a great local band!

Iron Reagan: 9/10
Occultist: 9/10
Vomit Assault: 7.5/10

Iron Reagan included (some songs missing):

Mini Lights
Drop The Gun
Insanity Plea(se)
Walking Out
Snake Chopper
Tongue Tied
The Living Skull
I'm Regret
Zero Gain
One Shovel Short Of A Funeral
Cycle Of Violence
I Ripped That Testament A New Asshole
Your Kid's An Asshole (x2)
Don't Tread On Me (Cro-Mags cover)
Eat Shit And Live

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