Dead Cross is the feisty hardcore/metal super group comprised of Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, Michael Crain and Justin Pearson. If I lost you on the verbiage of super group, don’t fret, as this is not simply a clichéd affair nor is it easily dismissible. To be fair, you could say that Dead Cross is the sum of its parts although ringleader, Mike Patton truly shines on this album. If you’re not familiar, here are the verbose introductions of the Dead Cross’ key players. Mike Patton is the vocalist and he emotes like a man possessed and in the midst of an exorcism while Dave Lombardo provides the appropriate thunder. Michael Crain lays waste to his guitar while Justin Pearson keeps the project together courtesy of his bass playing ability. I promise I’m not a bassist; I just figured that I would sneak that in there to stir some things up.
The feistiness of Dead Cross lies in its punk roots, as the album isn’t an all out metallic affair. As a matter of fact, Dead Cross is fairly brief with 10 tracks clocking in at 28 minutes. The album opens with the thrashy “Seizure and Desist,” which features Patton in full on word vomit, there’s a melody but it’s almost overshadowed by the sense of menace that is immediately conjured. I would imagine that I would be stomped into oblivion if I were at a club in a pit while this track was playing. I’m a little too old for that nonsense and I bruise easily. Speaking of which, the hardcore “Idiopathic” isn’t for the squeamish either. Those looking for respite might find it in the spooky chorus of “Shillelagh” or the cover of Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”
“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” is given a respectful and abbreviated cover that features an exquisite and howling guitar solo. Other album highlights include the over the top accompaniment of the slightly Faith No More-ish “Gag Reflex” complete with Tampax references and the somewhat spacey, drone of the outro “Church of the Motherfuckers.”