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Describing a band’s musical approach as “straightforward” sounds similar to saying a person has a “good personality,” or like damning it with faint praise. Not Iron Gag, though. The New England-based quartet’s whole approach paints them as one of those why-go-around-when-you-can-plow-straight-through bands. Kind of like the Juggernaut, the virtually unstoppable X-Men villain, and likely just as fond of humanity.

The name Iron Gag alone radiates hostility. The music feels assaultive. Their debut long-player Malingering sounds like Steve Albini losing his shit and spending two weeks feverishly pounding away on a manual typewriter in some off-the-grid manifesto shack. Imagine “My Black Ass” from Shellac’s At Action Park, but with hair-trigger emotional volatility and considerably more abrasion -- those are the album’s mellower moments. When they switch to grind mode on tracks like “Trash Lungs” and the sardonic “Sit and Spin,” they take on a rapturously unsettling belligerence.

Malingering will be made available for download eventually; the only way to score it on CD or cassette is at the band’s merch table on their upcoming tour. Their trek kicks off on August 15 (dates below), but until then, check out our exclusive stream of the album below.

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Tour dates:

8/15 -- Syracuse, NY -- Spark
8/16 -- Detroit, MI -- Corktown Tavern
8/17 -- Lansing, IL -- Royal Skate & Apparel
8/18 -- Waterloo,IA -- The Wedge
8/21 -- Spokane, WA -- The Pin
8/22 -- Bremerton, WA -- The Charleston
8/23 -- Eugene, OR -- Old Nick's Pub
8/24 -- Santa Cruz, CA -- Subrosa Community Center
8/25 -- Los Angeles, CA -- The Boulevard Bar
8/26 -- Las Vegas, NV -- Garth
8/27 -- Salt Lake City, UT -- The Underground
8/28 -- Colorado Springs, CO -- The Black Sheep
8/30 -- Austin, TX -- The Lost Well
8/31 -- New Orleans, LA -- Siberia
9/1 -- Memphis, TN -- Rockhouse Live Midtown
9/2 -- Athens, GA -- Caledonia
9/3 -- Greensboro, NC -- New York Pizza
9/4 -- Philadelphia, PA -- The Fire

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