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Dead Cross - II review

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Band: Dead Cross
Album: II
Release date: October 2022

01. Love Without Love
02. Animal Espionage
03. Heart Reformer
04. Strong And Wrong
05. Ants And Dragons
06. Nightclub Canary
07. Christian Missile Crisis
08. Reign Of Error
09. Imposter Syndrome

Madder than a badger in a forklift truck.

Combining the forces of two of the most prolific personalities on the heavier side of music in Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo, Dead Cross have long been an interesting prospect. While 2017's self-titled debut may not have set the world afire (well, the world is basically aflame, but the band are not to blame I'd argue), it was an entertaining project and, given the busy schedules of the aforementioned members, one I did not expect to see repeated. Lo and behold, one of the pleasant surprises of 2022 was the news of a sophomore release by the band, helpfully titled II for those who had missed out on the band the first time round.

With Patton late to the party on the band's debut, he didn't contribute creatively to that record. This isn't the case for II, which has the man's fingerprints all over proceedings and damn, if it isn't all the better for it. II feels like spiritual successor to latter-day Black Flag, except, well, being good. Hardcore ethos mixed with an avant-garde approach makes for a compelling listen for sure.

From the opening "Love Without Love", the album crosses wires and connects dissonant ideas while the listener sits back and watches sparks fly. II is all over the map, with the breakneck speed of "Heart Reformer" veering into melodic passages like a train derailing but somehow landing onto another pair of tracks; it shouldn't work but somehow it does. There are moments when Dead Cross do surprise you by following convention, with the straight-up hardcore of "Christian Missile Crisis" and "Reign Of Error" being powerful direct punches to the senses.

Lombardo is the perfect foil for the madness unleashed here, being able to balance the power of hardcore with the less conventional rhythms and patterns of songs like "Nightclub Canary". While Cain and Pearson may not have the profile of their bandmates, they do manage to grab the spotlight away from them and force you to pay attention to them, thanks to performances such as on "Ants And Dragons".

Like all experimental music, II is likely to divide listeners owing to its eclectic nature. I can imagine to some audiences, the thirty-two minute runtime may sound like a bunch of over-caffeinated musicians on psychedelics making noise, while in a similar vein, those who are into more experimental music may find the hardcore leanings to be too limiting to proceedings. What I can advise both groups to do is to at least give II a try.

Dead Cross may be regarded as merely another non-Faith No More project for Mike Patton and a dime-a-dozen performance for Dave Lombardo, but damn if II doesn't show that both musicians need not stick solely with ther day jobs. Hopefully we get more from this band in the not too distant future.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8

Written on 03.11.2022 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments: 6   Visited by: 128 users
03.11.2022 - 16:31
Rating: 6
A Nice Guy
Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo sounds like a solid combination, I will have to check these out.

Edit: Nah sadly I'm struggling to get into it, the vocals sadly don't do it for me, neither does the songwriting, although the overall rhythm and tempo ain't too bad.
03.11.2022 - 18:03
Rating: 7

Definitely didn't enjoy it nearly as much as you did, but it is somewhat more interesting than the first record was
03.11.2022 - 19:40
The Galactician

I loved the first one. Can’t wait to check this one out!
03.11.2022 - 20:24
Rating: 10

The 1st Dead Cross may have had more of a punch n punctuation if nu-metal/hXc hit-or-miss production icon Ross Robinson hadn't overseen production n likely the mixing - this is evidenced by their follow-up 2018 self-titled EP (they refuse to give pretentious album title-ings and will soon will change their name to 'Band', and release multi-Patton-um winning record 'Album', with such out-bland-ish hits as 'Song I, Song II, etc.' - look out, Taylor Swift! you goin down, biznitch!! o_O)... parenthetical asides... err... aside, the couple of EP songs hit hard due to noticeably more volume n bite! I'm glad Patton's alt-metulz buddy had nothin to do with this one's sound shenanigans n total tomfoolery. just jackassery, pure avant-badassery...

Patton likes to do all vocals in 1 take and it sounds it, here. not till around the 2nd half does he get warmed-up n cut loose like the jumpcut provocateur of old... Fan. To. Mas. - does he have what it takes in his mid-50's to imagine a 5th Naked City spiritual successor?

don't hold your breath - but I don't doubt he can 100%, either
No one can fend off 100 multi-colored Draculas
03.11.2022 - 21:03
Rating: 4
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
I gave it a chance because of this review, but fuck does Patton ever suck. Please please please get his rambling nonsense off the mic for the next album.
14:22 - Marcel Hubregtse
I do your mum
04.11.2022 - 01:44
Rating: 6
Aries Rising

Written by Boxcar Willy on 03.11.2022 at 21:03

I gave it a chance because of this review, but fuck does Patton ever suck. Please please please get his rambling nonsense off the mic for the next album.

The other vocalist for the band is somehow worse than Patton, so it's a double whammy of suckatude.

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