Everybody's so political these days. Protesting this, boycotting that. Hell, there are more hippie protest songs out now then there ever was in the 60's. Who cares if it's warranted - shaddap, Commie! Cross Examination harkens back to the good ol' days of drinking, moshing and puking, and not even knowing who the president is, let alone organizing marches over his or her policies - it's a guy in charge now, right? Believe me when I say this, my peers, with the Hung Jury album, ignorance has never felt so blissful.
It's been a long, long time since I've heard an album that addresses both the ever-topical issues of gathering for a party ("Party Squad Unite!"), the hazards of the pit ("Mortal Kombat") AND include a cautionary tale of what to expect if your town is attacked by a dragon ("Omen of Prophecy"). If you close your eyes (or at least hide the Starbucks cups) it's like 1985 all over again. Slayer and Iron Maiden were still the best ways to wake up in the morning, D.R.I. was yet to cross over and all was right with the world.
While really an EP, Hung Jury is fleshed out by including the 2004 Cross Examination demos and an enhanced portion for anyone still unsure after listening, just what the band is all about. I really hate to cheapen a review by comparisons to other bands, but these guys really remind me of Gang Green. A fantastic party-punk band from Boston that I fucking loved (despite being too much of a pussy to ever get my fat ass on a skateboard) who are sadly no longer with us. Everything I loved about them I can find on Hung Jury, but with even more frenetic energy and more stupid, stupid fun.
It's hard to find bands that wear their influences on their sleeves and don't sound like copycats. These guys have the same old-school spirit but bring a youthful enthusiasm (fuck me raw, I sound old) to it all, including both a Suicidal and an S.O.D. cover on the album that sound right in line with their own shit. And when all else is said and done, you're going to like an album that ends with a song called "The Foodening ($3.49 Mark of the Feast)." How the hell could you not?