Orgin New York City, NY, USA
Genres Hardcore Punk, Punk Metal
Years Active 1982 - Present
Country of origin USA
Labels Profile Records, Century Media
Associated Acts Sick of It All, Agnostic Front, Youth of Today
Official website

New York City Hardcore Punk veteran, Harley Flanagen founded the Cro-Mags in January of 1984. Although Eric Casanova was the first singer, Harley soon found the AWOL Navy boy, ex-Bad Brains roadie, John Joseph (a.k.a. "Bloodclot" — a nickname he earned from the Bad Brains). And the legendary duo was established, along with the amazing drumming of Mackie Jayson and the roomy twin guitars of Parris Mayhew and Doug Holland (of Kraut). They recorded a demo in 1985 and played the most intense shows ever. The Cro-Mags were true New York Hardcore to the bone. They came straight from the streets and played with and anger and ferocity never before or again seen, except in the Bad Brains.

John Joseph and Harley (and Doug, too) began visiting the Hare Krishna temple in Brookyln where they gradually became practicing members, to one extent or the other. Their lyrics became infused with philosophical slants taken from their lessons learned at the temple, yet retained the hard-as-nails, I-just-might-kill-you-next attitude that so characterized the band and most of it's members.

In 1986 the Cro-Mags released their LP "The Age of Quarrel" on Profile records. It stands to this day as the hand's down singular definition of true New York Hardcore Punk. Mackie's unrelenting, and precise drumming combined with Harley's furious and accomplished bass playing, and John Joseph's searing and yet somehow melodic vocals was a combination that could would send adrenalin pumping.

Within a year, however, internal tensions tore the band apart, and it would never be put back together again - though they tried. Makie was the first to be replaced, by Pete Hinez (of Murphys Law). Then John Joseph left, and Harley took over on Vocals. At this point, 1989, the Cro-Mags recorded their second LP "Best Wishes" which, though it was not in the same league as "Age of Quarrel" was still decent. Next, in 1990, Doug Holland left (replaced by Rob Buckley) followed by Pete Hinez (replaced by Dave DiSenzo). Things went downhill rapidly. In 1991 there was an attempt to reunite with Doug Holland and John Joseph - but the attempt failed. In 1992 a disappointing LP called "Alpha Omega" was released. In 1993 a similar LP entitled "Near Death Experience."

Still, during the period of 1986-1988 the Cro-Mags were simply incredible, and were an undeniable influence on the world of music as well as my own music and life in so many ways.


John Joseph McGowan – vocals
A.J. Novello – guitars
Craig Setari – bass
Maxwell Mackie Jayson – drums


The Age of Quarrel (1986)
Best Wishes (1989)
Alpha Omega (1992)
Near Death Experience (1993)
Revenge (2000)

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