Dead Cross

Dead Cross

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The eponymous debut from the all-star punk unit featuring Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer/Suicidal Tendencies), Justin Pearson (Retox/the Locust), Mike Patton (Faith No More/Mr. Bungle), and Michael Crain (Retox/Festival of Dead Deer), Dead Cross delivers a lethal blast of hypnic jerk-inducing hardcore that's as wildly unpredictable as it is loyal to the genre's predilection for compact sonic vivisection -- the entire affair clocks in at just under 28 minutes. Opening with the familiar and uneasy sound of the United States' Emergency Alert System, "Seizure and Desist" unleashes a Gatling-gun barrage of staccato riffage and breakneck drumming that provides the perfect vehicle for Patton's unhinged, multi-octave croon/scream. Frenetic lead single "Obedience School," which was first delivered to the public via a viscera-stained video that explored the seedy world of cockfighting, offers little in the way of relief, nor does the manic "Shillelagh" or a propulsive Marilyn Manson-meets-Fields of the Nephilim-inspired rendering of Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead." In fact, discomfort is Dead Cross' m.o., but the results are so ghoulishly compelling that it's akin to shamefully leering out your car window at a grisly accident scene on your way to pick up a pizza. Hardcore done right is a terrible and beautiful thing.

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