Mike Patton has been around the music scene for 3 decades now and has been in countless side projects and bands, too many to name. Being the lead vocalist of Faith No More he has always given whatever project he’s currently in instant credibility & exposure.
His chameleon like vocals which can go from mellow crooning all the way to the other end of the spectrum of death metal type growling has always been remarkable. Now with his latest band Dead Cross, he has done it again.
The self titled debut LP has just been released and is as close to a hardcore record as you’ve ever heard from Patton. The chaotic and biting album clocks in just under 28 minutes, consisting of 10 tracks and there’s not a clunker amongst them. Teaming up again with legendary Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo (the 2 worked together in Fantomas) and 2 Retox members, guitarist Mike Crain and bassist Justin Pearson, the quartet thrashes its way through the record. Delivering a fast and avant-garde style of music that has its roots planted firmly in the crossover style genre popular in the later 1980s, but one that has been seeing a revival in 2017.
Patton has always been a rather peculiar lyricist and his newest work in Dead Cross continues the trend of writing “Mike Patton” music. Lyrics such as “I took a pee and it came out red…I took a dump and it came out dead” tell you that this band isn’t taking itself too seriously. The song titles alone make you chuckle. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”, “Gag Reflex” and “Church of the Motherfuckers” are my personal favorites. Patton does very little singing, it’s screaming and more screaming, only a few times taking a break and speaking in an almost hushed whisper (like in the aforementioned “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”).
The music itself certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel but there is a freshness and bite to this album that sounds like it’s from a new, young band, not with 2 members who are turning 50. Lombardo’s drumming speaks for itself, fast and pounding, no compromises. This band set out to make a Hardcore record and they succeeded. I have heard that they are already playing a few new songs out on the road live right now, so the good news is it looks like this is not a one-off and we will get more Dead Cross in the future.