Hot Cross Risk Revival

Hot Cross Risk Revival
While losing a founding member, guitarist and songwriter might cause some trouble in the tepid waters inhabited by many hardcore bands, Hot Cross have not only recovered from the loss of Josh Jakubowski but have become an even more formidable force. Moving even further away musically from their much-touted lineage, which included hardcore heavyweights Saetia and You & I, Risk Revival is awash in manic riffs that never intrude on the powerful mix of shouting, screaming and singing that composes mini-epics like "Turncoat Revolution” and "Silence is Failure.” The attention to detail in the band’s songwriting is backed up by their insane dedication to sonic perfection. But for all its grit and aggressive immediacy, Risk Revival was re-recorded after the band decided the initial product wasn’t up to snuff. It’s hard to imagine a collection of songs this strong not sounding incredible no matter the production quality, but the additional hand of Jakubowski, who returned to man the boards the second time out, couldn’t have hurt. With strong dynamic and melodic interplay between guitar and bass, psychotic drum beats and a unique vocal approach, Hot Cross do classic screamo right, and Risk Revival is a testament to that fact.

Did having the support of Equal Vision change your approach to recording?
Guitarist Casey Bowland: It gave us the illusion of endless time. Nine days in the studio? That seemed far too extravagant for a band that recorded their first record in a weekend. Then of course, we ditched the recording accomplished in those initial nine days and went back to the proverbial drawing board for several more. So really the only difference for us was having the largesse of EVR at our disposal. And dispose we did.

How difficult was it to go back to production square one?
It was a particularly painful decision. We spent a lot of time debating it. We were fortunate enough to have a modicum of our recording budget left after the first go round. In hindsight, we’re pretty ecstatic.

Do you think people are done tagging you as "ex-members of…”?
As long as interest in our antecedents exists, people will kick around the ex-members thing like hackey sacks at a Dave Matthews Band concert. Maybe our association with EVR and the fact we don’t use any blast beats on the new record will effectively weed out the kids still holding out hope we’ll resurrect our old bands or write songs the way we did six years ago. (Equal Vision)