S/T Seven Inch
No Idea Records
Do you miss Black Cross? Cuz I do. I actually bought their album Art Offensive at a Best Buy in passing because the cover art looked really awesome. It was like oxidized gold print on a brownish paper. Totally awesome. I was psyched when I got it in my car too, it was gritty and electrifying and fast as shit. I wanted to pound fist on steering wheel and I probably did. Then they kind of faded from view.
Anyway, dudes in Black Cross went on to Coliseum and Young Widows and probably like a bunch of other bands that are awesome. Black Cross is basically three dudes that used to play in Black Cross, so when No Idea announced this I got intrigued. Rob Pennington is a great vocalist to be sure, one of those pure post-punk barks that’s got just enough of a howl and yelp in it to make him sound crisp and clean. It’s a treat to hear him on the microphone once again. And as for guitarist Ryan Patterson, that guy shreds like a mighty god of guitar. He’s probably the best song writer in the post-punk world today. Disagree, go get anything by Coliseum and put it up to anything in your shitty record collection and then cry because you suck so bad.
So, if I can take an abrupt turn in narrative, this 7″ is pretty awesome, but like so many other 7″s of this ilk, from bands of this nature, I’m irked. First of all, I really want to see more Coliseum in my life. I still can’t stop thinking about that show I saw in Seattle last year. They were nothing short of brutally amazing. And while Pennington is a gruff narrator, Patterson’s awesome guitar work contains him here to the role of sidekick. Patterson is just that awesome. The other issue, as always, is I want more. “This Life” reminds me so much of Art Offensive, being the records most straightforward, almost safe track, but it also brings me back to Black Cross and showcases how dangerous Patterson can get with his guitar playing, taking left turns just as things get a bit long-winded.
Black Cross is stripped down and gritty and will feel comfortable to your ears. The songs never linger too long, but it’s surprisingly not over before you know it. The songs stick to your insides and attach themselves to you, but you will still want more punishment. The dudes in this band have been getting the job done in so many great bands for so many years. It’s almost astonishing that they could take a step back and find the sounds that first got everyone excited. I’m torn between wanting more from this super group and wanting them to add these elements to their current bands. Either way, Black God rips it up. That’s all that matters.