My shit stinks like the breath of your mom
Swing your stick boy, bring it on…                      (Shillelagh)

Some things are just preordained.  As soon as I swaggered into Probe Records on my lunchtime and saw the cover of Dead Cross in the new releases section a couple of weeks ago I just knew it had to be mine.  Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo … limited edition of 2000 on gold vinyl, with a glow-in-the-dark sleeve … come to Butthead.

What you get for your hard-earned is one of the heaviest LPs I’ve heard in an age and one of the most interesting too.  It’s an incredibly dexterous mix of real thrash metal and hardcore punk with some real oddness sprinkled on top, courtesy of the singer, who I gather used to be in some band. The basic sound template is probably (1537 faves) D.R.I* but sped way, way up to land speed record attempt levels.

Just slip opener ‘Seizure and Desist’ on for a nice gentle introduction to Dead Cross:

There’s a lot to be angry about at the moment and its okay Dead Cross are there to do it for you/with you.  So we have all manner of creepy ghouls and skeletons on the cover but, Bela Lugosi aside, Dead Cross concentrate on our contemporary horrors.  This is exactly the rage I’ve been waiting for.

Right from the get-go I love all the vocal strangeness Paton adds, with a more earthbound singer this would still help me get my rage-on but would be a much more pedestrian prospect.  Interestingly Dead Cross was a done deal before Patton joined, having been put together by Lombardo, bassist Justin Pearson and guitarist Mike Crain**, the music having been for the most part already written too.  It sounds as though Patton relished just having to concentrate on vox, throwing absolutely everything into it^.  It is great to hear Dave Lombardo playing to his absolute limits, he is just completely immense – you forget sometimes just what an incredible drummer he is, playing with real swing as well as shit tons of athleticism.

Almost every track on Dead Cross hurtles past you like a freight train, until ‘Gag Reflex’ which weighs in at a gargantuan 4:21 but there are easily enough change-ups and variations to make life interesting – ‘Shillelagh’s ludicrously fast (true) tale of being threatened in Ireland in quite homophobic terms, ‘Idiopathic’s slowed down ‘mosh’ section, oh and a great cover.  The band give us a really good, changed yet respectful ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’, which the band jammed on just because they loved it – it does a great job of resetting our gourmet palate before the LP’s finest moment.

When I first bought Dead Cross and I was floundering to gain a toehold it was ‘Divine Filth’ that showed me the future.  Patton sings it like he’s trying to digest a Serj Tankian he ate earlier.  It’s just fucking mayhem – everyone seems to just click and hurtle forwards, it really is the most stunning heaviness I’ve heard all year, hitting hard, yet simultaneously really playful too; has Patton ever done a better vocal? it’s debatable.  Plus the band get 1537 bonus points for including the Brazilian motto, ‘Ordem e progresso’ in the lyrics too, for no apparent reason. Perfect.

The rest is all great too but I’ll let you discover it all on your own, I especially commend ‘The Future Has Been Cancelled’ and ‘Church of the Motherfuckers’ to y’all – when I’m a multi-gazillionaire oligarch I swear I’ll use the latter as my firm’s hold music.  It’s just brutal stuff, uncompromising as hell too – the LP is all done and gone in just over 28 minutes, which is a perfect time for an LP like this, 45 minutes would just make you feel like a tennis ball during a Williams sisters’ knock about.

Some words, yesterday

I should also point out that, just as an object this is a connoisseur’s chunk of vinyl.  Ipecac gives us a great thick cover, the lyrics are hidden away on the gatefold in raised white on white glossy script (I kid you not), add in all the glow-in-the-dark gubbins and it must have cost a small fortune to produce.  It’s a quality item and I’m pleased I own it, unless all this consumerism means that I’m part of the problem – it’s complicated, what do you say Mike Patton?

I’m just a moron chasing pigeons in the park
But I will leave my mark                          (Grave Slave)             

Good enough.

795 Down.

PS:  How cool is this?

*circa Crossover.

**I would like to pretend to be knowledgeable about Crain and Pearson, but I promised my late grandmother I would never lie about my US strangecore knowledge.  True story.

^as opposed to making (non-FNM) music that I feel is probably a lot more enjoyable and interesting to make and perform, than it is to listen to.

38 thoughts on “Ordem e Progresso

  1. Lordy! This looks (and sounds) very special! Patton is a strange beast, eh? Seems to have about a gazillion projects going on. Personally, I preferred Tomahawk over almost everything until that last Faith No More album. Anyhoo, I think I need to get this. This and new LCD Soundsystem have jumped to the top of the list (didn’t know either existed, or were existing, until this week). So there.

  2. Spontaneous comment coming right up! I’ve not really got into this (probably me, not them!) but I do like the cartoon Patton face in the video. And glow in the dark albums are a very good idea. I have some Nuclear Assault CDs that do that.

    1. Why do you have to be so spontaneous all the time? it’s just to get attention isn’t it?

      It’s definitely you, not them.

      Which Nuclear Assault ones do that? I only own ‘Survive’ and I love that LP.

  3. It’s pretty cool they put Ordem e Progresso in the lyrics! As a Brazilian, though, I can tell you that motto is not very representative of the country nowadays. =/

    It sort of reminds me of when I was listening to Nick Cave’s The Good Son, and the first track from that record has a chorus that is taken from a religious song in Portuguese. For a second there I thought there was something wrong with my album.

    1. I guessed you’d like that Matt, it’s why i used it for a title. It’s not a motto that’s representative of many places these days!

      Cave lived in Brazil for a while didn’t he? from what I remember reading he struggled with Portugese pretty badly.

      1. Thanks for that then. I am glad you thought about me! And yeah, I did like it!

        I know he dated a Brazilian woman around the time of The Good Son, which is why he recorded it in Brazil; São Paulo, to be more specific. I didn’t know he struggled with Portuguese, though!

    1. I did one of those LOL things I’ve read about then.

      I think you need to reach deep inside you and release your inner hardcore maniac moshing thrash-metal bastard.

      1. Very much, that had a sadness to it. You get flashes of sadness in Howard’s writing – I remember he wrote a piece about the death of a stray cat (it was in an anthology of his non-fantasy stuff that my dad had) that just made me weep.

      2. Well there was sadness in his life, that’s for sure.
        The cat story reminds me of a M*A*S*H episode that always brought forth tears in me; one of the later stories where Margaret becomes attached to a stray dog. That ep was an important part of my journey from stone golem to vaguely human. True story.

  4. I saw this earlier and procrastinated. Now after reading this I need it.
    This may be one of the only non-FNM Patton albums I will dig.
    He has such talent. It just seems to never work out when he is left to his own vices.
    I appreciate that the side projects make him happy, but they usually leave me wanting more, or scratching my head and asking “what in the flying f*ck was that?”

  5. I was really hoping you’d like this one. That means I’m probably gonna like it, too. When I read about this band a couple weeks ago I figured it was a done deal with Patton and Lombardo. Sounds like a match made in heaven(or hell).

    1. Perfect dinner party music too.

      Spend the extra cash and get the gold vinyl/glow-in-the-dark version quick, would be my advice too – it’s beautiful and it’ll get expensive fast.

      I always kind of appreciated Patton’s other projects, but never really enjoyed them – I don’t think I was musicianly enough to appreciate them properly – he just rages on this though.

      1. Patton is what I’d call an eccentric musician. He can be straightforward, but he can also sound like he’s from another planet. Mr. Bungle was a little too out there for me, and I’ve never listened to Phantomas.

        I will see if my connection can get me a copy. Pronto.

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