video Crosses Self-Titled Review: A Departure From Reality

How many drugs do you have to do until you finally give up and try to feel whole all by yourself? Do you do it through meditation, rituals? Drinking yourself stupid, rolling face, or going to church and feeling the light of Heaven shine down on you?

… if you can admit that magic exists.

I can’t admit to knowing the enormity of what these guys were thinking when they put this band together, but the new Crosses (†††) self-titled LP is a total departure from lead singer Chino Moreno‘s work with Deftones, Team Sleep and Palms.

“Listening to Crosses is like standing near the main stage of some 1980s set, French underground vampire club.”

Listening to Crosses is like standing near the main stage of some 1980s set, French underground vampire club. After entering, you walk down the round brick corridor, laced with candles and the smell of roses and leather. Once your foot hits the inner sanctum, you already feel the bass in your bones and your brain’s busy figuring out if there is a time signature for these tracks at all. A three-man band replaced the DJ, and with speakers bumping, people grinding, liquid lust is just pouring through the ventilation system… that about sums it up.

Whatever you do, don’t trust your laptop’s internal speakers. Listening on my Mac, it just sounds like rocks jumping around in a tin can.

The Media:

So far, this album is getting a lot of flack from reviews and I don’t want to praise the endeavor to the point of regurgitation, but I honestly love where they’re going with this. Being labeled as witch house, trip hop and dream pop? None of which are pinpoint. Were they written with the purpose of encompassing the various styles of music Shaun Lopez, Chuck Doom and Moreno have experimented with the band?

The Tracks:

The first song I heard from Crosses was “The Years,” from the original soundtrack of Batman: Arkham City. I remember the image of this eerie and dejected piano possibly playing itself into eternal sadness combusting into a thousand wooden pieces as the last hook wailed its way into my subconscious.

While some songs on the new album are strange, too short, or totally corrupt and heretical, I’ve got to say I’m addicted to “The Epilogue.” It makes me think of that Chuck Palahniuk novel with night and day people, where it’s so easily discernible which side you’re on. You’re either in or out, light or dark. “The Epilogue” conjures up images of two high school rejects making out under a bridge somewhere, creating a world for themselves in a dark corner of the universe, but that’s just me.

“Trophy” mixes some 80s synth and 90s reggae with this century’s spacey, lovey dovey lyrics. Its unobtrusive beat can be played on low in the background while you’re cooking or cranked up loud to encourage that Explosions in the Sky couples dance kind of vibe.

“Blk Stallion” starts like a Bjork song, but with repetitively self-aware words suggesting we want “hit records for the kids,” I’m reminded of Korn‘s “Y’all Wanna Single.” Bleh.

“Blk Stallion” starts like a Bjork song, but with repetitively self-aware words suggesting we want “hit records for the kids,” I’m reminded of Korn‘s “Y’all Wanna Single.” Bleh.

“Nineteen Ninety Four” sounds like a summer on the beach. There’s a luau dying out somewhere, raining on your most fabulous occasion. The party goes sour and the season starts to change.

“Telepathy” is what you’d get if Daft Punk did a Boogie Nights tribute plugging in Chino’s haunting howls and pairing it with a creepy xylophone. Would you want to clap to that?

Another one of my favorites: “This Is A Trick.” With Duff McKagan bassing it up, I could definitely see this song making its way to the Skrillex side of the block, tricking all those hopped-up junkies into thinking it’s rock, when it’s R&B or electronic… or something.

The Verdict:

It’s like the interlude on Heaven Shall Burn‘s album, Antigone, where gunfire can barely be heard over the crying violins and dark notes of the keyboard. The whole album is one huge interlude! Maynard had his Puscifer and now Chino has his Crosses. The deal is done. This album is the shit.

I don’t pretend to know what it’s all about, but I do know how it makes me feel. Maybe it’s about religion, for connotation’s sake, and maybe it’s about the FAME. Could be the entire album is about one woman, THE woman. Moreno just can’t quite find the spell to summon her into being.

Who knows? You can read until your eyes bleed or you can download the album yourself, off their website. For the extremely discerning listeners, those with a record player can tune in and drop out with Crosses’ vinyl edition of the LP.

And now for your daily dosage of weirdness. Embrace the strange!

Published on Headbang ‘n’ Buttonmash.

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