Initially, Dead Cross emerged from a series of unlikely happenstance, fallen-through plans, and last-minute musical experimentation. Expectations were high, with many left guessing what sort of style a band featuring Mike Patton on vocals, Dave Lombardo on drums, guitarist Mike Crain and bassist Justin Pearson would have. The answer was to shake loose the white-knuckled grip of nostalgia, and instead embrace the endless potential for brand new, uncharted, divine filth. Dead Cross’ 2017 debut self-titled LP did just that, vacillating between providing a fitting soundtrack to Godzilla attacking Tokyo, to witches catching waves in a hurricane.
The band followed up in 2018 with a two song EP, also self-titled, but remained generally low profile from that time on until the release of their scathingly brutal cover of Black Flag’s “Rise Above” in 2020- an anthem for those seeking the beauty in the streets.
Dead Cross’ highs are sharp and wicked, its lows ominous and evil, all the while laced with wit and, many times, an element of tongue-in-cheekiness not often found in whatever genre you may want to characterize it as. “II” continues these dichotomies, but with a new sense of symbiosis and evolution, collectively better understanding and playing off of one another’s strengths as a unit. And for as energetic and thrashy as “II” gets- and it certainly pulls no punches in that regard- it also carries with it many moments of earnest pain and tangible despair brought on by this society we’re all subjected to, be it through the wailing guitar in “Impostor Syndrome” or the haunting chants of “Love Without Love”– the sound of destruction marching firmly onwards. In the years that have passed since their debut album, the world has only gotten colder and harder, and Dead Cross remains steadfast in confronting it by any means necessary.