REVIEW: DEAD CROSS – “Dead Cross”
Justin Pearson, Mike Crain, Dave Lombardo, and Mike Patton are the instruments behind the blissful chaos of Dead Cross and their self-titled debut album It would be easy to become fixated on the names in the band, but that would be a shame. Instead, prepare your soul for a leap from twelve thousand feet without a parachute as you scream with joy.
Opening with the ominous test sound of the emergency broadcast system, Dead Cross jumps head first into the fun with “Seizure and Desist”. The music gives you the sensation of riding in a nitro-fueled funny car swerving all over the road. One minute you are flying down the road, and then you are fish-tailing around a corner before plowing on again at full speed.
I would hazard to guess that the riffs which make up the fractured fairy tales on this album are the result of guitarist Mike Crain and bassist Justin Pearson. The riffs are intoxicating, twisted, and sadistic, and will remind fans of their previous bands The Locust and Retox. When you add in the pleasantly aggressive drums of Dave Lombardo, you get a sweet napalm jelly for your ear holes. Take a listen to the jagged edges on “Obedience School” or the industrial overtones of “Church of the Motherfuckers” and let me know what you think.
The x-factor that makes it incredibly hard to pigeonhole Dead Cross within a genre is Mike Patton. Whether he is hysterically screaming on “Grave Slave” or adding oddly compelling harmonies on “Shillelagh”, Patton’s vocal dynamics and satisfying lyrics put this album in a category of euphoric insanity.
Every song on Dead Cross’s debut is built to satisfy, with the crackerjack surprise toy inside being the cover of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus. The dark underbelly of this goth post-punk classic remains intact while getting a pant load of Dead Cross. This stripped-down cover is a nice breather before you head back into the pit.
The self-titled debut from Dead Cross is a hyper-kinetic joyride which will leave a huge shit-eating grin on your face. The pace and delivery of the music on this album feels manic, yet you’ll feel the deliberate focus and intent with every song. Dead Cross have created an album that stimulates and invigorates by way of a sharp shot of adrenaline to the Reticular Formation of the brain.