Saturday, 4 February 2012

Review: ††† (Crosses) - EP ††

 Back in August, I found myself completely entranced and astonished by the ambient and ethereal soundscapes created by ††† (Crosses), a musical side-project formed by Chino Moreno of Deftones fame and Shaun Lopez of Far. I would go as far as to say that their first collection of songs EP † is the finest collection of songs that I've spent no money on, as it was available as a free download. Obviously now it seems that the Sacramento residents have realized how successful this project is and now their trying to cash in on this success by making their follow up EP EP †† actually cost money. Bloody sellouts! How dare they try to make $3.99 for what their beautifully crafted music? Actually, this issue doesn't really concern me at all, because going by the quality of these songs they should be worth a lot more.

 While the first EP was reliant on full attention and focus for the songs to really get into one's head and cause a real emotional impact. EP †† sees this desire for absolute focus loosen a bit, filling various songs here with more hooks and rhythmic passages that one could find themselves dancing to, as tracks like Fron†ier and Prurien† boast giant choruses containing a certain uplifting warmth about them. But this warm nature is seen across these songs as the smooth and ambient synth rock carries with it a dreamy atmosphere which contains a subtle kind of grandeur in their rich textures and layers of gentle and beautiful soundscapes.
 Though the tracks here may appear at a slower and more drawn out pace, there is often a sense of exhilaration and excitement to be found. Listening to Prurien†, the pulsing synth drums was something that just couldn't be ignored and the overall atmosphere of †elepa†hy is one of pure velocity. An influence from Moreno's work in Deftones can be identified mixed with a reminiscence to the various musical works of Trent Reznor.
 The final tracks †rophy and 1987 do present the more melancholic moments of ††† (Crosses) pretty effortlessly, especially 1987, with it's dwindling basslines and haunting vocal performance of Moreno with the repetition of "In the waves a shoebox of ashes/ A silver casket/ A mother dressed for eternities breath" reveals the groups ability to create an unsettling and gripping touch of bleakness and desolation to their music.
 Overall, listening to this EP proves that Moreno and Lopez have managed to impress once again, creating a breathtaking collection of atmospheric and graceful songs featuring lush soundscapes and pulsing performances which creates and hidden sense of grandeur and dreamy wonder throughout. If a full album is released filled entirely with songs such as these, listening to it shall be a very exciting prospect and will certainly be worth paying a lot for.

 ††† (Crosses) - EP †† is out now.

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