Formed in 1994, Crown Of Thornz provides any unwary listener with an all-to-real glimpse into the dark and tough world of hardcore, especially with a front man like New York native and infamous Queens graffiti artist Lord Ezec (a.k.a. Danny Diablo, born Danny Singer). Along with Ezec on vocals, the lineup consisted of Mike Dijan on guitar, Franklin on bass and Dimi on drums.
Personally, my first taste of Crown Of Thornz came in the form of seeing them live at a show with H2O in the mid 90's. Liking what I heard, it wasn't long before I found myself picking up their 1995 "Train Yard Blues" EP on one of my trips to Generation Records.
Right from the cover art you know that you're in for a taste of the harsh reality that Crown Of Thornz was born from. The record itself continues to demand your attention as the first track, "Juggernaut" opens and slowly builds over excerpts from a local 1988 New York City newscast on skinheads. The following four songs; "Head Check", "Mental Masquerade", "Crown of Thorns" and "Feelings" don't disappoint either. My personal favorite is "Crown of Thorns", especially the line about "staring out the window as I'm riding on the J". I never rode the J train when I lived in New York, but my weekly routine did take me on the A train through Brooklyn to Broadway Junction / East New York where I would catch the L train to the end of the line at Rockaway Parkway in Canarsie. The L is an above ground line laced with graffiti, vacant buildings and empty lots along the way. When I listen to "Crown of Thorns" I always picture that trip on the L train from Broadway Junction to Rockaway Parkway.
In 1996 Crown Of Thornz released their only full length record, "Mentally Vexed". Since the group officially disbanded in 1998 vocalist Danny Diablo has kept himself at the forefront of the underground music scene with a number of other projects including his growing solo career. He has also recently been busy as a new father.
Crown Of Thornz from the NYHC Documentary