Dead Cross, a band that includes music royalty, are set to release a new album on August 4th through Ipecac Records. The band consists of members from bands such as Slayer, Retox, Faith No More, Suicidal Tendencies and Head Wound City. A band comprised of these artists may be called a Supergroup. I personally hate this word because it gives a false picture of the band itself. It does help the band with notoriety, but we feel that Dead Cross should be listened to and judged on it’s own merits, not on previous accomplishments of the members.
Dead Cross, as admitted by the band, is the musical world’s version of planetary alignment. Dead Cross should never have happened. The band actually had gigs scheduled before songs were written. In a way, the evolution of the band gives some insight into the music that they create, which I will get to in a minute. The chaos, madness and experimentation that led to the formation is a great analogy for the sound that the band creates.
As mentioned before, the members of this band have quite a history in the music world. Looking at the history behind the band, one can asses that age is maybe going to be catching up with these guys, That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Dave Lombardo is over 50 and has the chops of a 22 year old. These guys are far from loosing their edge or slowing down. The album starts out with their first single, for which they also made a video, “Seizure and Desist”. It starts with the sound you hear before the emergency broadcast system tells you to seek shelter and, just like the tornado, the craziness fully engulfs you. The Hard-Core/Punk feel brings back the feeling of wanting to destroy everything in your path. It’s the kind of music you could imagine listening to on a coke-fueled destruction bender. All but two of the songs on the album are under 3 minutes long.
The tempo doesn’t slow down until the track “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, which is a cover of the Bauhaus song referring to the Hungarian-born actor famous for his role as Count Dracula and his roles in other early horror classics. The band is full of influences and this one in particular underscores the unpredictability of Dead Cross. Just when you thought you had them figured out, they cover a classic from what is called the ‘earliest known Goth band’. They do shorten the nine-plus minute song drastically for their take on it. Not to worry if you are into the high tempo material, “Divine Filth” will get you feeling right again. Mike Patton sings “Time eats all” on the opening lyric but it hasn’t taken the band’s ability to make you want to throw your fists wildly and run around like a maniac.
“Gag Reflex” is a song that proves the genius of the band. Every Mike Patton you know makes an appearance on this song, vocally. This is the longest song on the album; it ranges from ballad to Hard Core Punk. “Church of the Motherfuckers”, the last song on the album, takes a jab at organized religion. These and other lyrics are up for debate as Mike Patton has a very clever way with words, historically. He also isn’t afraid to follow a beautiful harmony with the frantic screams of a madman.
At the end you are left to wonder just how this all came together. Two members, Justin Pearson and Michael Crain, have played together in Retox; with the addition of Lombardo and Patton you have Dead Cross. The band features some of the best writing, lyrically and musically, that these guys have ever done. None of the members are reliant on the other members’ abilities to make this happen. If you are sick of listening to the same stuff and want to get out of that rut, go and get this album on August 4th. I would compare this to the top fuel dragster of music; loud, fast and short. They go in for the kill and skip all the frill. When it’s over, you’ll feel like lighting up a Marlboro.
Go out and show you love live this summer. Dead Cross is currently on tour through September. With tickets less than $30 in most cases you would be insane not to catch this spectacle for yourself. Stay posted, we have an interview scheduled with the band when they come through Denver!
Dead Cross on tour
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