Surprise, surprise, indeed.
The hardcore-punk super-group Dead Cross dropped an unannounced, four-song EP on the public last week via Ipecac and, for all its distractions, it’s a pretty cool little addendum to last year’s full-length debut of the same name.
The record, essentially a 7-inch single with two remixes tagged on, shows how the band has tightened, as well as further toyed with hardcore formulas, since it hit the road in 2017 to promote the first Dead Cross. Opener “Skin of a Redneck” can feel a little scatterbrained but, when it cuts, it goes right for the jugular. Guitarist Mike Crain (he of Retox) attempts to steal the show, offering choppy, acerbic shreds of guitar that blur the line between punk and metal, often to great effect. (“My Perfect Prisoner,” which comes with a deliciously comic-gruesome little video, sticks to the script a little more tightly but is far from predictable. It has a crashing charm.) The rhythm section pounds and throbs. Patton is lovably Patton.
The remixes are interesting stuff, adding a bit of color to the quartet, but ultimately don’t further the legend much. Panicker waxes Wax Trax with “Shillelagh” (offering a digital terrain where Patton, pitch-adjusted, whines, but doing a little disservice to Lombardo’s time-keeping) and Planet B does a juicy little job with “Church of the Motherfuckers.” All in all, a pleasant little May surprise — back in the day, this would’ve been well worth the $4 you’d dish out for a 7-inch. – Justin Vellucci, Swordfish, May 9, 2018