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Crown of Thornz "Train Yard Blues" CD

Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2005 @ 6:47am » permalink

Crown of Thornz - Train Yard BluesHere's another mid-90's hardcore gem that I can't believe is around 10 years old already. Crown of Thornz did pretty well in their day, but I still feel like this band had so much more to offer than they were ever given credit for, and they don't get namedropped nearly enough these days either. Yeah, yeah, we all know of the countless, countless mounds of rumors and gossip (both fact and fiction) that eventually surrounded this band and created a rather notorious aura throughout their existence, but I'm not concerned with that. And looking past all that extraneous information there's one truth you can't deny here: Love it or hate it, these guys had a sound that was all their own.

I do kind of think that some of the over the top "behind the scenes" antics associated with the aforementioned "extraneous information" surrounding this band caused a lot of people to unfairly overlook Crown of Thornz as a band – some of which stemmed from the fact that members became involved with Skarhead shortly after Crown of Thornz got rolling – because hardcore was kind of at an all-time high as far as "politically correct" attitudes were concerned back then, and violent reputations combined with any form of lighthearted/indulgent extremism were a surefire way to get a lot of people's panties in a massive bunch. But the thing is, all that conjecture just doesn't jive with what these cats were doing musically. Crown of Thornz was not some "toughguy band". Read the lyrics, you know? Sure, the shit is bleak. But it's the real deal. It's honest: Heavy both musically and emotionally. And these guys were also dealing with a lot more melody than was to be expected from NYHC – they just did so in a way that never went too far, and always managed to keep things in your face.

Both the debut "Train Yard Blues" EP and the "Mentally Vexed" full-length are consistently quality spins, but I've always held a slight preference for the somewhat colder and more menacing tone of the EP – which probably explains why I tend to find myself pulling it out more often around this time of year. It's a little rawer overall, but something about these five tracks really communicates a darker and more distinct edge than the vast majority of hardcore.

Sometimes I walk these streets with my head down, a blank stare and an occasional frown. I want to rock and sleep my life away. Wake me up. Wake me up another fucking day. The razors at my wrist and the hands of time keep turning. The faucet drips another drop and my mind is burning…

You can still buy this puppy on the cheap, too. If you dig it, pick it up straight from the label for just $8:

@ Equal Vision Records

I also have to say, these guys were a fucking great live band. I caught them during their later days and was shocked by how impressive they were, and that show really reignited my interest in their material at the time. While I can't imagine it ever happening, I'd totally love to see Crown of Thornz do another record someday.

I realize that I'm posting about way too many mid-90's hardcore acts as of late, but I assure you it's entirely coincidental. I guess I listen to this stuff more often than I ever realized, ha. I'm trying to continue keeping things balanced in terms of different genres and whatnot, but I have so much shit that I could choose to post that I always get sick of thinking about it and just post whatever I'm currently spinning – so there might be a few more shots of 90's hardcore to come before I move on to something else for awhile! If anyone else has any requests, let me know


  1. Anonymous says:

    I think its awesome you are posting about mid 90's hardcore/metalcore because it wasn't bloated or overdown around this time. I used to listen to stuff like this all the time but hadn't bought the albums at the time so now I'm going back to get them and remember the bands. The mp3 sight is a big help actually.


  2. xbenx says:

    Yeaaaaaaaaaaah this band was fuckin wicked, I think I'll pick this EP up as I only have the full length.

    As far as I'm concerned the more core the better ;) keep it up Andrew!!

  3. A-BH says:

    "I realize that I'm posting about way too many mid-90's hardcore acts"

    No way, just keep on posting 90´s hardcore. Never too much of it.Love it! Keep up the good work!

  4. carlosNYC says:

    I grew up in the same neighborhood as these guys, and a lot of the "tough guy" bands, and they really live up to the image. Ezac is a really cool guy though. I always loved going to the early COT shows and dancing to 'Juggernaut' and all that.

  5. Anonymous says:

    hey bro, keep it coming (Train of Thought next please).
    And Mike Dejan is KING!!

  6. desintegrado says:

    a friend of mine was in the dynamo fest in holland a few years ago and skarhead played there. The rumour says that in that fest lord ezec was wearing a complete black mafia suit, including a hat and a walking stick and then one guy of the swedish band Satanic Surfers looked at him and started to laugh off. So that lord ezec took the stick, beat him up and thereafter played in one of the small stages…who knows what really happened

  7. whenever i saw the name crown of thornz i totally thought metal. even that cheese-ass logo made me think (cheese-ass) metal =) not to be a dick or nuthin. much better than i would of expected… still not totally my thing… on juggernaut the dudes vocals totally remind me of chaka of burn… and i love the samples

  8. bartthefleX says:

    I love Crown Of Thornz, but I also know that I don't listen to that band enough. I gotta give Train Yard Blues another spin this weekend.
    The Dynamo Fest story didn't happen at Dynamo, but at Dour Fest in Belgium. I know Ezec beat the dude up after he asked for an apology he didn't get. Plus I have an interview with Ezec in a zine somewhere and he mentions that after he beat up Satanic Surfers Dude he saw his band (Satanic Surfers) and thought that the band was somewhat good.

  9. I was just rocking Mentally Vexed on the way to school today, and both records are still in constant rotation for me. You are correct, they are definitely underappreciated. Hardcore in NY was pretty bad in the mid-90s, and COT usually just gets lumped in with all the shitty tough-guy bands from that time, like District 9… ugh. But they were totally doing their own thing, adding elements of rock, post-hc, groove, etc.

    Get ready for the pain because JUGGERNAUT is here!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Uh….District 9 were the shit. do we have to start up some useless pseudo-tough guy internet beef, here? BXHC!

    As for this post…it's good. Cold Front were another under appreciated band from this time and era. With a somewhat similar sound….

  11. Matty says:

    Much respect for giving all this 90s hardcore coverage.
    There's a lot of bands I'm real curious about from that era and this site has some great stuff on it.
    There's a bunch of bands I'd like to know more about so if you can share your knowledge on the following i'd be grateful… The Icemen, Train Of Thought, Two By Four, Setback etc

    C.O.T are a band i woulda killed to see live. Cold Front too.
    District 9 are also an amazing band that mixed up some hard hitting lyrics with some great hardcore which, like C.O.T, had a LOT of melody involved and helped them hone their own sound out of it.

    hahaha i love most "shitty tough-guy bands" in fact it's usually that kinda description that makes me curious about em as that term gets thrown around all the time and is totally inaccurate 90% of the time.

    respect from the UK


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