Crosses (†††) - Crosses (Cover Artwork)

Crosses (†††)

Crosses (2011)


Crosses (also known as †††) is the newest project from Chino Moreno of the Deftones, Shaun Lopez from post-hardcore stalwarts Far, and their buddy Scott Chuck. This is their self-titled debut release. Immediately once the first song, "†his Is a †rick" starts, I'm reminded of two music genres in recent blog obsessions: the gritty griminess of dubstep and the cheaply made, yet sort of unique quirkiness of witchhouse. OK, so this is probably coming off as crazy, but if you are curious about these two mentioned styles of music, take a gander on the internets for an overwhelming, heaping amount of this stuff. Anyway, back to the music. That first track sets things off in a weird direction, yet it starts to feel familiar. If you've ever listened to Chino's other side project, Team Sleep, or think of tracks like "Teenager" and "Sex Tape" from Deftones, then you wouldn't be far off from getting an understanding of where this is coming from. Synths of a darkwave style lead the song while the drums pounce like pre-programmed beats (drums were done live by Far's Chris Robyn). Chino's vocals are layered all over, providing an outside/inside sort of feel. Oh, and Duff MaKagen contributed bass to the song, but that's nothing to really care much about.

The influence of Lopez is felt throughout the music and on second track, "Option", you can get a feel for his input. Far were one of the better post-hardcore bands that existed, and it seems as if Chino is living through them on this track. The guitars are buried within the cold, electronic debris, yet they have that trademark style of emo/post-hardcore and are humbly done, never getting out of hand. Third track, "Bermuda Locke†" is a more down-tempo groover, silently feeling up someone's clothes. Yes, Chino's ability to make alarmingly sensual songs is used in full force here. To add to this blanket of comfort is that voice. Chino blends in on these recordings, and the electronic flourishes that accompany his vocals, plus the thin layers of guitars and white noise, bring to mind dream pop or shoegaze.

Track four, "†hholyghs†" is a stunner of a song. The aforementioned choices in styles come into fruition and this is where the project works in being something different from the members' other bands. The buildup is great and the eargasmic overdose of static and white noise gives one a desire to hear this loudly through decent headphones. There also seems to be an interesting use of the theremin instrument, which adds an eerie mood to the overall tone. I thought of Mercury Rev when that noise popped up. The last track, titled "†" or "Cross", is an instrumental outro. It's nothing to go ape over, but it does lead the end to a nicely done EP.

These days, electronica and rock have been mixed so much that it's getting harder to see a difference in some places. Artists like Radiohead, M83, and TV on the Radio are some of the many who push the limits. Add Crosses to that mix, because it's here on this release.

It's been stated that this is only the first in a series of EPs to come, so with that in mind, keep a lookout for any future releases. This looks promising...

Oh, and you can pick up the album for free on their site, or pay five bucks for a "high"-quality version.