Before The Quarrel
2000 | Punk
Spotify | Amazon
“Don't tread on me. -- You crossed me once, don't try it again. -- You didn't learn, I'll show you again. -- What goes around, comes back around. -- Revenge, Revenge is sweet. -- Don't tread on me."
- In 2018 Flanagan filed a federal trademark infringement action suing prior band members John Joseph and Mackie Jayson. A settlement was announced in April 2019 by Flanagan wherein he would own exclusive use of the name "Cro-Mags."
- Age of Quarrel refers to Kali Yuga, this term originating from the Sanskrit language can be translated into the "Age of Quarrel", "Age of Deception" or "Age of Illusion". Kali Yuga is the fourth and current age of the world in the Sanatan Dharma or Hindu tradition, characterized by general degradation, spiritual degeneration, and illusion;
- The image on the front album cover is a photograph taken during the Operation Castle nuclear test at Bikini Atol.
THE HOT TAKES
Punchy and direct, as punk should properly be. (Yes, I just used "punk" and "proper" in the same sentence. So sue me.) This is an interesting way of presenting the "idea" of don't tread on me. "I thought things were cool; But I guess I was a fool; And now I know; All about you." Sound a bit like being betrayed by the state? Republicans say "But I thought you supported gun rights!" Democrats say "But I thought you supported equality!" The only thing the state supports is itself, and too many learn this lesson the hard way.
The best thing about this song is that it’s 1 minute and 20 seconds long. The best lyric in the song is “What goes around, comes back around Revenge, / Revenge is sweet Don't tread on me.” This caused me to think of something that many people were exposed to for the first time during the Ron Paul Campaign: blowback. Blowback in this context is defined as the unintended adverse results of a political action or situation. Think Pearl Harbour, both world trade center bombings, the bombing of the USS Cole, that kind of thing. It’s also more things than that. Things that affect people on a much more personal and smaller scale, like the taking and murdering of hostages, and the resentments and problems caused by domestic legislation , like baking cakes, rise in drug use, rise in gun crime, or resentments over welfare programs. All of these things have the long lasting and terrible effect of making people more afraid of “the left,” “the right,” or the foreign bogeyman. That fear leads to the calling on government to “do something,” and that leads to more State power and control in people's lives, and none of us want that.
There is something great and classic about old school punk and hardcore. The raw visceral simplicity is what always drew me in. The music itself feels like a kettle whistle letting us know exactly where the public sentiment is. This particular song could easily be taken as a direct message in an interpersonal situation or as a grander political stance. Libertarians and anarchists don't take the government at face value when it says it's here to help. Even if it intended to it fails epicly at the task. This song illustrates well the emotions of the moment when you realize the lie. The societal level back-stab.