Black Cross Severance Pays

It’s been four year since we last properly heard from Louisville, KY’s Black Cross. Formerly known as Black Widows, the band formed following the demise of seminal Louisville acts By the Grace of God and the National Acrobat. Art Offensive, from 2003, was the band’s warning shot, a throwback to the heyday of DC hardcore coupled with a more mathematical approach. With the exception of a three-song EP in 2005, however, the band remained relatively silent, as members busied themselves with other musical projects (most notably Coliseum and Young Widows). Severance Pays breaks that silence like a wrecking ball through a stained glass window. A step back from the slightly more polished feel of their last few releases, this record was tracked live-off-the-floor and with the addition of a new bassist, now boasts a double-guitar attack that brings the band’s sound closer to that of Drive Like Jehu or early Quicksand. A short, driving post-hardcore pummelling, Severance Pays was worth the wait. (Auxiliary)