Iron Reagan Drops the Tyranny of their Will with a Sensual Fist
by Mat Weir
Straight out of Richmond with 40 ounces in hand and enough hair to make a Sasquatch jealous, is the glorious return of self-proclaimed, “sensual thrash” outfit, Iron Reagan. Formed by vocalist Tony Foresta and guitarist Phil “LandPhil” Hall,—both of Municipal Waste fame—Iron Reagan is a super group in the head-banging world with Ryan Parrish (Darkest Hour) on drums, Mark Bronzino (Kicking Spit & Mammoth Grinder) on second guitar and Rob Skotis on bass, their latest addition to the presidential party.
Following their self-titled, debut album and secondary EP, Spoiled Identity—both released independently—Reagan’s latest, The Tyranny of Will, was recently dropped by the good people at Relapse Records and it is 33 minutes of pure, unadulterated, face-melting thrash! Thankfully, Tyranny…, doesn’t stray from Reagan’s previous releases, continuing an abrasive path of musical destruction. As numbers like “Your Kid’s an Asshole” exemplify the band’s humor, songs like “In Greed We Trust” and “Bill of Fights” are straight-in-your-face political songs with a punk edge. Iron Reagan might be a bunch of long-haired metal heads to you squares, but they can see what’s going on and have something to say about it. . . or at least inspire their fan base to get really pissed off.
Shortly after the album’s release, the band posted a hilarious video of them taking over downtown Portland for “Miserable Failure” a visceral two-minute track that epitomizes Reagan’s sound. Short, bloody and fast, in its simplicity are complex layers between Bronzino & Hall’s guitars and the backbone of Skotis and Parrish. The music is blasted by Foresta’s shotgun vocals and honest songwriting about the consequences of living by your own rules and why you shouldn’t give a fuck about others’ judgments.
On a more touching note, Tyranny… features a number called “The Living Skull” about the late, great Dave Brockie of Gwar, whom the album is also dedicated to. The number opens with a quick soundbite exchange of ex-lead singer for A Band of Orcs, Jerrad Laign, and Brockie from last year’s Madness At The Core of Time tour—the last U.S. run Gwar would make before the singer’s untimely death.
Laign: “What happened? Who made you mad, dude?”
Brockie: “Nobody made me mad, I was just trying to have a good time!
I only mention this because I was working for A Band of Orcs on that tour and that quote by Dave symbolizes a lot of the man I knew for those two and a half months. An insanely intelligent, hard working guy, Brockie was also a madman in the best of ways; always down to have a good time, no matter what the cost and often misinterpreted.
The metal family is a close one, with many friendships that run deeper than blood. I was really fortunate to have met these guys when I did and it’s good to see they are still kicking ass in a charred earth campaign across the metal underground. FOUR MORE BEERS! FOUR MORE BEERS! FOUR MORE BEERES!