The Sign Of The Southern Cross
...Of Mountains And Moonshine
posted on 4/2010 By:
They may have borrowed their name from Sabbath, but The Sign of the Southern Cross owe their sound to Down. And it’s a heavy, heavy debt. …Of Mountains and Moonshine, the band’s debut offering, is an easy listen, but also a shameless aping of the Nola boys. The songs themselves sport the same swampy Sabbath-ian grooves and anthemic melodies, but it’s vocally where the band trips unceremoniously over the line between influence and imitation, as frontman Seth does his best Anselmo imitation, in most cases very ably mimicking every delivery and style in Anselmo’s arsenal, save his clean croon. And like all bands that attach themselves so tenaciously to the coattails of icons, The Sign of the Southern Cross risk that same old double edged sword. Their album is easy to crank up and headbang along to, because they’re using a formula is not only familiar, but effective as hell. At the same time, they’re clearly not cut from the same cloth as their mentors.
The band’s rot-gut whisky and resin-coated Southern tough-guy swagger is a bit leaner than Down (except the vocals, which are layered heavily), and on occasion, TSotSC ply an attack more aligned with Pantera than Down, but they never stray far from these established templates. When they slow down and use clean vocals, the band actually shows a bit more identity, and perhaps “Purge” offers the best blend of these sounds. Elsewhere, other standout moments include true opener “Huck Finn” and “The South is Rising”.
The Sign of the Southern Cross actually has the talent to make a name for themselves. Seth could use his considerable vocal chops to create a style more his own and lead this band to becoming something more than The Great Southern Trend Jumpers. Entertaining but disposable stuff.
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