EP: ††† (Crosses) – EP 1

Release Date: August 2nd, 2011
Label: Unsigned
Website: www.crossesmusic.com
MySpace: None available


Side-projects seem to be the norm nowadays for musicians. It’s not just musicians in big bands either, small-timers more often than not have something extra up their sleeves. Whether it’s someone in a death metal band who’s hidden their love for country for far too long or someone in an indie band who’s got the hots for down-tempo electronica, side-projects are the unknown aspects of a musical personality that have been caged in the shadows for far too long. Some take off straight away, while others never really leave the ground, but that isn’t the point. Side-projects are all about getting something out of your system that you just can’t do with your main band, letting the creativity flow in the process.

Chino Moreno, of Deftones fame, has recently started up a new band with Far guitarist and childhood friend, Shaun Lopez, and Scott Chuck. The band is called Crosses and recently released an EP for free download. As you can imagine, Moreno‘s voice is the protagonist which the sound flows around, as it generally is with Deftones, but the music here is very different to that of which we’re used to hearing Moreno sing against. Crosses‘ sound can be described as electronic/alternative rock, and it’s the sound which you can imagine Moreno spends a lot of time listening to. His voice hovers like mist over the dirty, down-tempo beats, rather than piercing through the crushing sound that Deftones produce.

‘This Is A Trick’, the opening track, shows us what’s in store. Slow-paced, yet danceable synth with flashes of an angrier sound lurking in the background. This is down to the members’ work with their other bands. Moreno just about stops his voice climbing to the heights of Deftones anger and the lyrics work well with the overall feel of the song, which is both slow-burning anger and nonchalant joy: “Something’s changed in your face / I notice a different sparkle in those crazy eyes / Your unmistakable charade, I know it / Always tricks me every time”.

‘Bermuda Locket’ is a track soaked in passion and zeal. It’s the most chilled-out track on offer, and Moreno grabs your attention with his voice, refusing to let you go until the song is over. You’ll feel intrigued to listen all the way through because it seems as if the song is going to explode at any moment. It simmers, and the music builds up every so often which, along with Moreno‘s almost tired-sounding voice, makes for a fantastic effect on the listener. It’s as if the band is in a dream-state and leaves you eager for more.

‘Cross’, the last track is an instrumental that is an easy listen and flows effortlessly until the end. It’s a good choice as a last track as it brings the EP to an end on a note that leaves the listener chilled-out, and in good spirits.

If you’re a Deftones fan that loves their laid-back approach, then you’ll like this. But, if you love the anger that they bring, then this may not be for you. Regardless, it’s a decent effort, and it shows Moreno‘s more chilled-out side that is obvious at times with Deftones.

Written by Rhys Milsom