The Pitch: Consisting of Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Justin Pearson (The Locust), Michael Crain (Retox), and Mike Patton (Faith No More, etc.); Dead Cross is the avant-garde hardcore project we've all been yearning for. FFO: Fantomas, Mr. Bungle, The Dillinger Escape Plan
What I Like: True to form, Dead Cross is weird. You could argue whether Mike Patton is the best vocalist of all time (I think that he might be), but he most certainly is the most versatile. As with his countless other projects (including Fantomas with shared member Dave Lombardo), Mike uses the duration of this album to do whatever the hell comes naturally at any given moment. He screams, he croons, he grunts, and he laughs his way through a psychodelic carnivale of madness.
But at the end of the day, this isn't Patton's project, per se. While he steals the show, as he is known to do, he was actually the last name to come on board. So what of the other skilled members of this supergroup? Not surprisingly, Lombardo delivers some killer drumming (something that I wish the production highlighted a little better). Far from the processed click tracks of many modern albums, Lombardo sticks to his thrash roots and the raw ethos of hardcore in his presentation. And both Justin and Michael compliment Patton's schizoid vocal performance with equally sporadic and sometimes dissonant riffs that join the worlds of Mr. Bungle, Primus, and The Dillinger Excape Plan.
Critiques: Honestly, I think I may have hyped this album up too much in my head. While I enjoy Dead Cross, I found it to be a little underwhelming. The compositions, while highly unique and unpredictable, aren't always memorable beyond Mike's bizzaro nature. And while I appreciate the less processed production style, I think it could have still done a better job of highlighting some of the instrumentation.
The Verdict: Dead Cross play it against the grain for a result that is a bit of a mixed bag. Patton shines as he does on any project he makes contact with, but the songs themselves are a little hit and miss. Highly unique, but not always thrilling; it's definitely worth checking out today.
Flight's Fav's: Seizure and Desist, Gag Reflex, Church of the Motherfuckers
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