From out of nowhere, (sorry, bad joke) Californian hardcore beasts Dead Cross have surprised us with two brand new songs and a brand new music video.
The band’s self-titled debut album exploded to life last year, along with critical acclaim and a ruckus of tour dates which were occasionally accompanied with arrests and injuries. This new and also self-titled EP features two brand new songs, “Skin of a Redneck” and “My Perfect Prisoner”. The songs continue the same macabre anarchic heaviness of its predecessor, but with a bit of a change in tempo. “Skin of a Redneck”, in particular, is a slower kind of hardcore than the majority of Dead Cross‘ previous work, with some nicely distinct guitar tricks, fun electronic noises and a typically varied vocal display from Mike Patton.
Second track “My Prisoner” also shows off some new skills from the band, with some decidedly filthy guitar tones, deafening drum work and what I suspect to be some highly politicized lyrics. Enjoy the music video in its full gory glory. PS: Not for the squeamish.
But the fun doesn’t end there. The EP also contains two brand new remixes of songs from the previous album. Personally, I’m not usually a remix fan, and I’d go as far as to say they are often a cop out for EP releases. But I’ll make an exception in this case. These tracks are actually damn cool. Panicker‘s rejig of “Shillelagh” is a hard industrial pile-driver, with some cool filters over Patton’s voice and an early 90s Nine Inch Nails vibe that really gets the head banging. All of the above is also applicable to the Planet B remix of “Church of the Motherfuckers”, though I’d say it’s a little less industrial and a little more hip hop.
For my money, this EP addresses anybody’s concern that the Dead Cross project was a one trick pony. It shows that this is one hardcore project avant-garde enough to break its own rules, and that its overall musical identity is yet to be cemented. Perhaps it’s a rude request to make of a band who were kind enough to give us some new music out of the blue, but please give us some more!
The Dead Cross EP is available to hear on the band’s Spotify and Bandcamp page. For news and merch, check out their Official Facebook page, and for other Ipecac releases, visit the Ipecac Recordings website.