CROSS EXAMINATION might be the least professional band ever. This group of five (or six, maybe seven _ who's counting?) friends from St. Louis have always placed having fun as the highest priority, with trivialities such as "selling records" and "promoting yourself" and "remembering to write music at practice instead of just drinking" way, way at the bottom of the list.
This carefree approach could probably explain why it has been six years since anyone has heard any new material from these crossover thrash maniacs, now in their tenth year together. 2008Ís LP Menace II Sobriety found acclaim from punks and metalheads alike, receiving favorable reviews from webzines and publications the world over and landing on several year-end "Best Of" lists _ no small feat for a crossover band in the midst of a worldwide thrash- metal revival. Several DIY tours all across the country followed, but in the years since the band all but went silent, save for the occasional weekend trip or show in its hometown.
The band's laid-back attitude belies its abilities. Guitars shred through furious riffs at breakneck speeds, dragging a thunderous bass guitar and spastic, fill-crazy drums along for the ride. Hill barks his lyrics over the top with similarly breakneck abandon, cramming syllables into a machine-gun style approach that would leave most panting in a col- lapsed heap. The speed of many thrash acts conjures images of futuristic technology and light-speed space travel; CROSS EXAm feels more like a Ford Festiva doing 110 mph down the highway with no brakes or seatbelts, ready to break apart at any second.
The band's upcoming EP, Dawn Of The Dude, picks right up where its last left off. The songs remain the same, as does the lyrical fodder _ partying, beer, weed, the virtues of DIY basement shows and drunken gluttony all appear in the liner notes, so donÍt worry, it is still the same CROSS EXAminATiOn.
01. Wake Up Call
02. Opposite Day
03. Ritual Snackrifice
04. Hail To The Jeef
05. Subterranean Thrash Assault
06. The Bluntacolypse
07. The Dawn of the Dude