You ever buy tickets for a show months and months in advance and by the time the show is scheduled to take place you just don’t feel like leaving your house? This has happened to us on numerous occasions and, as often as we bail on something at the last minute, there are also the times where we rally and are grateful we did. One such time was when Dead Cross hit Boston touring off their debut back in 2017.
Sure, the combo of Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, Michael Crain, and Justin Pearson released a rad record but it wasn’t until experiencing it live that we got a sense that this wasn’t one of Patton’s million other projects (Exaggerating, of course) and gave us a greater appreciation of what Dead Cross held. II, on the other hand, is almost an extension of that live performance with a more organic and restrained sound overall and the sense that this, truly, is what Dead Cross is.
But I digress.
It’s been five years since their debut and, unless you’ve been living under a rock, a LOT has happened. Compound the worldly problems with personal struggles from both Patton and Crain and it’s kind of a miracle that a new Dead Cross record even exists. But we’re grateful it’s here as you should be because if you think you know what’s coming from the Ross Robinson co-produced record based on the few singles out already then you ain’t heard nothing yet!
“Love Without Love” alone is simply astounding. And a monumental step forward in the evolution of Dead Cross. Patton sounds as vicious as ever, using the abundance of voices and vocal tricks at his disposal, Lombardo is a fervent beast behind the kit, Crain shreds relentlessly on guitar, and Pearson has the unenviable task of accompanying Mr. Patton on vocals all while keeping the foundation steady with the bass. “Animal Espionage” is a grinding groover that’s both menacing and ghostly while “Heart Reformer” is led by a wicked call-and-response vocal debate between Pearson and Patton as “Strong and Wrong” hearkens back to a bit of the cacophony that dominated their debut.
“Ants and Dragons” has some Dead Kennedys mojo lurking with the way Crain weaves his axe along with that Patton sinister singing flair creeping in, “Nightclub Canary” is a modern Punk anthem with Lombardo’s brilliant drumming at the forefront, and “Christian Missile Crisis” is very Thrash-like in a way that a certain Big Four band used to do in its’ infancy but differs with Pearson and Patton’s distinct vocal palette taking turns at the mic.
Yearning for some more crushing straightforward METAL? Then “Reign Of Error’ has you covered with Patton, Crain, Pearson, and Lombardo taking all the heaviness they’ve learned over their collective years, putting it in a blender, then spitting it in your face for barely two minutes of solid noise. Closing out such a momentous record is no easy task but luckily “Imposter Syndrome” is more than up for the challenge with a luminous banger that shimmies and sways through genres and time signatures to create one fittingly forceful finale from your favorites in Dead Cross.
II arrives via Ipecac on October 28th. Pre-order your copy now in a variety of formats by heading here. For the latest on Dead Cross, follow them across their socials when you click here, here, or here.