365 Days of Mike Patton: “Church of the Motherfuckers,” Dead Cross (2017)

Mike Patton and drummer Dave Lombardo, once bandmates for Fantomas, teamed up again for another project in 2017. Instead of the avant garde (or “avant grind”) stylings of Fantomas—which, frankly, can be hit or miss for me—they created a supergroup called Dead Cross. And it’s straight ahead hardcore music.

The video below for “Church of the Motherfuckers” features a priest getting bullied and beaten up in what appears to be some sort of Fight Club, surrounded by children. It’s an intense video for an intense song (though this song isn’t quite as fast or heavy as a lot of the rest of the album, and there’s actually a decent amount of melody in this tune, at least compared to the rest of the record).

Like he did with Faith No More nearly 30 years earlier, Patton replaced the band’s original vocalist and then wrote all the lyrics for the forthcoming album (while FNM was releasing its third album after Patton joined, this was Dead Cross’ first record). And while some believe Dead Cross have more of a metal or thrash sound, there’s no doubt what this is in Patton’s mind.

“To me, it is a traditional hardcore record,” Patton told Rolling Stone. “It is very pointed, direct and visceral. Like, I wasn’t going to play keyboards, add samples or any kind of orchestration. It was like, ‘Yo, just go for it.’ In some ways, it reminded me of stuff that we had collectively all grown up with and loved when we were like teenagers—bands like the Accüsed, Deep Wound or Siege, stuff that was just brutal, uncompromising and right to the point. I was listening to all those bands again before this came to be, so it was already back infused in my blood. And now I got a chance to do a pencil-in-your-eye record.”

If you like Patton singing with his outrageous range, this might not be the album for you. But if you like him screaming set against a hard, heavy, fast, and unforgiving beat, Dead Cross might be exactly what you want to hear.

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