Mike Patton and Dave Lombardo’s super group have just released a new EP. Coming a little out of the blue, and confusingly named the same as the album, this is Dead Cross by Dead Cross, again, but this time as an EP. It was released via Patton’s own Ipecac Recordings.
Dead Cross released their debut album almost a year ago now and it is fantastic. Check out our thoughts on it here. Creative, heavy and completely bonkers, it was a breath of fresh air to listen to. I haven’t heard much from the band since then so was pleasantly surprised to see this arrive on my music player this morning. We here at GBHBL are big fans of Mike Patton through his work with Faith No More, Mr Bungle and even his voice work on video games like The Darkness. He has a superbly listenable voice.
Throw in the supreme drum skills of Dave Lombardo (ex Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies) and you have two living legends in this most super of super groups. Chuck in the bass skills of Justin Pearson (Retox and Head Wound City) and the guitar skills of Mike Crain (Retox) and it seems impossible for them not to make intense and varied music. They certainly delivered on that first album.
So, let’s check out the new EP, Dead Cross. It is short, really short actually with just 4 tracks and 13 minutes of music on it altogether and, to be honest, it is a little disappointing. In regards to new music, there are only 2 new songs on it and then 2 remixes of songs from the Dead Cross album.
The 2 new tracks are great. They carry straight on from the album, keeping the slightly unhinged tint to it all. First up is Skin of a Redneck which is 4 minutes of mayhem. Squealing guitars and a fast, loose drum beat start us off before it settles into a chugging rhythm with Patton sounding menacing over the top. Like with the album, Patton sings like a man possessed. He mixes his voice and tones up regularly leading us from his sultry tones into manic screams and back again quickly. The bass is thick and heavy and the guitars play a mix of high lines and sudden drops to a chugging riff.
The second track is My Perfect Prisoner which is even more nuts. A solid riff and blistering drums start as the title is shouted out at such a speed it is hard to decipher. It settles into a marching beat with intense drumming and furious riffing in the chorus. The chorus vocals are just the title of the track screamed at hyper speed. Patton stays in snarling mode for the majority of this one and there is a neat ascending solo before the pace becomes frenetic for a big ending.
So far, so brilliant but it all kind of goes downhill a bit for the remixes. First up is a remix of Shillelagh. The Panicker remix, apparently and it is terrible. Basically a good song taken and turned into pure electronica dubstep nonsense. I get that it can sometimes be nice to hear different takes on a track but seriously, this is dire. The final track is a remix of Church of the Motherfuckers. Planet B’s remix. One of the best tracks on the Dead Cross album. This is again a pure electronic mix of a good song designed to turn it into a bad song. It has a few saving graces in comparison to the Shillelagh one in that the electronica is toned down and Patton’s vocals are often front and centre but still, just no.
As a couple bonus tracks, that would be fine but that would leave this as a two track EP. Still, Dead Cross don’t do anything standard so there are bound to be misses as well as hits. As an EP, Dead Cross is split in half with two great new tracks and two pointless and painful remixes. As a whole, that makes it a pretty average EP but that is unfair to the two new songs. Dead Cross, the EP, is worth picking up for those songs alone but it might be best to see this is a two track EP and pretend the other two don’t exist.
You can grab Dead Cross, the EP, now at all the usual streaming services or below at the Amazon links. It is also available at Ipecac Recordings Bandcamp page. You can also pick up more from the band at those links as well. Dead Cross are out on a big European tour shortly where you can also see them at Download Festival in the UK. You can pick up tickets for those dates here. Check out Dead Cross on their Facebook and Twitter pages for more information on them and their non remixed music.
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Dead Cross EP by Dead Cross (Ipecac Recordings)
The Final Score - 6/10