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Watch New York Hardcore Torchbearers Cro-Mags Simmering Video for ‘Between Wars’

Frontman and bassist Harley Flanagan wrote the instrumental track for the crime film of the same name

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Anurag Tagat Oct 15, 2020

Hardcore frontrunners Cro-Mags' Harley Flanagan in a still from the music video for 'Between Wars.'

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With the announcement of American indie film Between Wars this year, hardcore mainstays Cro-Mags’ vocalist and bassist Harley Flanagan took on the role of not just composing a score for the movie, but also channeling in his life experiences to portray an Irish gangster and hothead named McManus.

The gritty movie narrates a story of an Afghanistan war veteran who struggles to reintegrate into civil life in the Bronx, New York. While Flanagan essays a supporting role, he composed an incendiary, tinderbox-level cinematic rock track called “Between Wars” for the film, which made even made it into Cro-Mags’ sixth album In The Beginning, which released in June via Chicago-based Mission Two Entertainment. While the song features a poignant cello section recorded by Carlos “Lamont” Cooper, the visuals for the track offer glimpses from the tenuous film, including fight scenes and inner turmoil.

Directed by filmmaker Tom Phillips, the movie also stars Michael Imperioli, known for his role in T.V. mafia crime show The Sopranos. In a separate interview to promote the film and the song, Phillips, Imperioli and Flanagan spoke about the role of music as well as Cro-Mags. Imperioli told Flanagan, “Your music was perfect for that. I can’t really imagine anything else. You’re kind of the bridge between the two. It’s no accident that this would be your performance. You understand what real art does. It’s not easy to do.” 

In the conversation, Flanagan also noted that he’s working on some material that could see release in the form of a Cro-Mags EP by “at least” December. “I’m taking advantage of this time, ya know? Whoever has free time? This is like for me, this is an opportunity to write. I’ve probably written about almost 70 pieces of music since the quarantine started,” he says. 

With about 15 songs recorded, Flanagan does lament that Cro-Mags could have been on tour in Europe right now, but he’s happy writing and finalizing new music and spending time at home. He says, “I got a boat more load to go. All that [touring] got moved till next year… god willing, we’ll be outta this shit storm by then and then I won’t have to take off to record the album ’cause I’ll already have done it now.” 

Watch the video for “Between Wars” below. Stream Cro-Mags’ latest album ‘In the Beginning’ here.

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