There are many things that can, and have, been said about Mike Patton, and one of those things it that you can never be completely sure just what he’s going to serve up.
In a scenario that mimics his introduction to Faith No More, Dead Cross pretty much had their album finished when he was invited to join them late last year. Because he’s Mike Patton, he brought along a whole new set of lyrics with him, and some crazily disturbing and hilariously warped lyrics they are too. Blow out the candles on the urinal cake!/You got a moustache made of shit, gimme a kiss he sings, then literally shrieks, during ‘Grave Slave’ where, not for the first time, Mike Patton sounds like he’s gone insane. Truth be told, his performance rather overshadows the rest of the players. His delivery is so off-the-hook deranged that it makes Dead Cross even better than it might otherwise be.
Musically, this is a straight-up metal-edge hardcore record with splashes of grind and even power violence in the band’s infectious, busy urgency. There’s even a respite in the form of a brief take on Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Legosi is Dead’, giving everyone some breathing space before the flat-out pummelling begins again in earnest. Mike Crain’s guitar tone recalls that of classic early 80s DC hardcore pioneers like Bad Brains and Dave Lombardo steers the band through passages of breakneck speed and chaos back into groove and mini-breakdowns without effort. Throughout it all, Patton spits, gurgles, rants, screams, wails and occasionally actually sings, making recurring use of scatology in his scathing outrage; it’s crude, angry, coarse, devastating and fun and, sometimes, a little bit eerie. Whatever your preconceptions may have been about this album, they were right.
1. Seizure and Desist
3. Obedience School
5. Bela Lugosi’s Dead
6. Divine Filth
7. Grave Slave
8. The Future Has Been Cancelled
9. Gag Reflex
10. Church of the Motherfuckers