Dead Cross: A True Hardcore Supergroup
When I first heard about the artists involved in Dead Cross’ album Dead Cross, chills ran up my spine.
Dave Lombardo, former Slayer drummer, is a legend who paved the way for heavy metal drumming.
Justin Pearson brought his unique bass sound to The Locust, making it one of the speediest punk bands out there.
Guitarist Michael Crain played with Pearson in Retox. Cain plays his instrument in such a creative way, both looking back on punk’s history while redefining its sound.
And then there’s singer Mike Patton, famous for the album Mondo Cane. Patton continuously pushes boundaries through collaborations with Fantômas, John Zorn (check out the album Moonchild), and Rahzel. I’m a fan of his and have followed his career from the Faith No More days to Mr. Bungle.
So much for the band, but what about the music?
Dead Cross will probably be the loudest, craziest, and angriest record you’ll hear this year. It’s punk hardcore at its best.
The band is tight, uncompromising, and incredibly effective; the perfect trifecta of old school punk, hardcore, and mathcore. Every song has intricate musical patterns that are rounded off by Patton’s searing vocals. His voice brings something uncommon to a hardcore album beyond an incredible range. Hearing him pull off vocal acrobatics that grazes the operatic (half-singing and half-shrieking) is different for a record of this kind. In the words of Dave Lombardo: “It’s his harmonies which I enjoy the most.”
Dave, Justin, and Michael drive the music, while Patton makes sure everything derails more than strictly necessary. The band stays in harmony throughout the album’s 28 minutes (to put things in perspective, Slayer’s Reign in Blood lasted 29 minutes.) That is not to say that Dave or his bandmates are returning to their roots. Throughout each of these musicians’ career, they’ve had punk in their blood, and this album is living proof.