Who the fuck cares that Mike Patton is the most versatile vocalist in America? Any time he attaches his name to a project it might as well be smacked with diamonds. Whether it is vocal maneuvers with Bjork, his foray into pop music with Peeping Tom, or the stellar vocal duties on Faith No More’s cover of “Easy”, he is enigmatic and hard to ignore. One of my favorite projects of his is the avant-garde, noise-fuck of Fantomas with Melvins King Buzzo, and the ever-underrated drummer Dave Lombardo. Slayer, Faith No More, Suicidal Tendencies, Misfits, Fantomas, The Locust, and all other projects aside, Dead Cross might be the sexiest of the bunch.
Dead Cross… is equal parts hammar and equal part nails. The album was famous before it came out, as most Patton/Lombardo projects are, but it is one that actually lives up to its hype. Hardcore metal is a young man’s game and it’s refreshing to see icons and inspirations in the genre pull together for what could be the heaviest record that any of them have ever been credited with… well into their respected careers. Guitarist and bassist Michael Crain and Justin Pearson, of The Locust fame, hold everything together with a wall of noise that sticks the yin and yang of Lombardo’s Prussian type percussion to Patton’s schizophrenic, insect, alien up your ass vocals.
The album slams into being with the opener “Seizure and Desist” with Patton’s squeals and shrieks carving channels through Lombardo’s blast beats. “Idiopathic” offers fancy guitar noodling tightly wound around an unknowingly catchy chorus of glass. “Obedience School” is straight hardcore, “Divine Filth” is as brutal as sound can get, and “Grave Slave” is hard not to tap your foot too even if you are tapping in a puddle of blood.
It’s essentially difficult not to love Dead Cross I’m one of those that actually like that the band turns it down a notch with a stark cover of “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” and makes it sound even more sinister than the original… or that Patton most likely had to swallow caustic bee stingers to get his voice to warp that way…or that you can feel the room sweating with each broken drum stick, scratchy amp, or blown larynx with each recording. Or that sometimes it’s pretty awesome to play really loud, fuck you music. Everyone stop what they are doing and acknowledge the masters at work, cause I hope when I am 50 years old, I am making hardcore thrash records that sound as good as Dead Cross does right now.
Dead Cross’s debut record is out August 4th via Ipecac Records. Upcoming tour dates are below
August 10 Santa Ana, CA The Observatory *
August 11 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl
August 12 Phoenix, AZ The Marquee *
August 14 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
August 15 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
August 16 Austin, TX Emo’s
August 18 Tucson, AZ The Rialto Theatre *
August 19 San Diego, CA The Observatory North Park
August 21 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
August 23 Berkeley, CA The UC Theatre
August 25 Vancouver, BC Vogue Theatre
August 26 Seattle, WA The Showbox
August 27 Portland Wonder Ballroom
August 29 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
September 8 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage
September 10 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
September 11 Boston, MA Royale
September 12 New York, NY Gramercy Theatre
September 13 Brooklyn, NY Warsaw
September 15 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
September 16 Chicago, IL Riot Fest *
September 17 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
September 19 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
September 20 Lawrence, KS Liberty Hall
September 23 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
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