Crosses
EP


3.5
great

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
August 4th, 2011 | 129 replies | 30,145 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: not quite the newest model, but yet another vehicle for Chino’s melodramatic vocals

15 of 18 thought this review was well written

When Deftones’ always-angsty frontman Chino Moreno coupled with post-hardcore outfit Far’s guitarist Shaun Lopez to release four EP’s, I expected a starkly different output. Instead of crunchy guitars, distortion, and heavy riffs, we’re treated to a product all the more soothing-- Crosses. All punk underpinnings are set to the side as Crosses is awash in loops, synth, and lush electronic percussion galore. Deftones’ frontman has certainly taken a turn towards the downtempo (not that this is his first time visiting, see: Team Sleep). The mellow EP works not because the tracks are flawless, but because the sample space is so small. With only five, rather short tracks, Crosses prove their pulsing points without pushing too far. Most tracks are not as big a departure from Deftones as the witch-housely-named project will have you believe, but there’s still a deep enough aesthetic here to lose yourself... in the mellow in-between Chino’s bellowing, of course.

With the instrumentals shifting so dramatically towards the electronic spectrum, I thought it would be safe to assume Chino and Lopez would want to highlight these aspects. The first few seconds of the first track, “This Is A Trick,” is the most forthright exposure of the collaborations exploration into this new terrain making an appearance in the foreground. It’s an overpowering, grungy aesthetic, and one that would have been more interesting had they chosen to continue utilizing it as the main focus. Alas, that is not the case besides the purely instrumental outro, which offers a subdued, background-music aesthetic to the project when compared to the brunt of the EP’s instrumental side.

Often overpowering the impressive, moody and percussion-heavy electronic base that Crosses is built upon is Chino’s vocals. Drawn-out, temperamental (sometimes borderline-forced as always), and attention-grubbing, Moreno’s voice steals the spotlight from the instrumentals, and turns what could have been a rather extreme departure from Deftones into a project that clearly is a sideproject, after all. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that. The only time this style hits a bit of a dead end is when the tracks begin sounding like mere vehicles to exhibit Chino’s vocals than anything. “Options,” for instance, isn’t drastically different than something you’d find on White Pony. Oddly enough, it’s hard to give Crosses too much flak for this, because said track is one of the most outstanding on the EP. The track locks itself into a groove a few seconds in and is an entrancing, engrossing piece-- an example of everything gone right on Crosses when the elements seem to mesh.

As far as potential complaints go, Crosses’ production tends to be a bit haphazard and grimy when compared to Team Sleep. Though, I think the effect is deliberate; and if not, it’s at least advantageous. Crosses is unrefined, but always to the point where it interlocks with the aesthetic and never hinders it. This is most evident on the slower, lush likes of “Thholyghst” in-between its lyrics about funeral parties and ghosts. Again, Chino insists on yelling too loudly now and then and stretchinggggg out his voooooooocals too long to the point where they become borderline cheesy, but it never approaches self-parody territory. It only brings what has been labeled a “witch house” (all the more evidenced by the collaboration’s name) project by some back into Deftones territory. Even on what could have been missteps like this one though, Crosses find ways to make it enjoyable and interesting even the departure isn’t as dramatic as Chino is. Then again, Crosses would have to delve a little further past genres like witch house to achieve a jump that dramatic. It’ll be interesting to see how the forthcoming EP’s grow on this one, and rather Crosses can pull anything out of their arsenal a little more gripping; but until then, Crosses is more than enough to hold me over.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
August 4th 2011



18854 Comments


hey eric all your reviews are exactly the same

wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011



6739 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

cool album, cool review. pos, option and tholgytydhou are great.

SeaAnemone
August 4th 2011



18854 Comments


maybe it's just me but i love the album art here too

this wasn't incredible, but it was a pleasant surprise for sure. glad I checked it out even though I don't love Deftones

Maniac!
August 4th 2011



26187 Comments


chino moreno 5/5

BallsToTheWall
August 4th 2011



44164 Comments


I was hoping for new Team Sleep for years but this will certainty do. Good work.

Tyrael
August 4th 2011



20441 Comments


hey eric all your reviews are exactly the same


Wasn't gonna mention it but now you did... ;] Pos'd.
I was wondering, are you familiar with today's electronic music scene?

SeaAnemone
August 4th 2011



18854 Comments


not particularly, I don't think so at least : /
I have my few electronic artists I love love love (Flashbulb, M83, Boards of Canada, Justice... I dunno a bunch more) but I don't really follow the 'scene' per se

Inveigh
August 4th 2011



24196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah I pretty much agree with what you're saying here. I love Chino and Deftones though. however...

The Deftones

fail.

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis

Tyrael
August 4th 2011



20441 Comments


I'm amazed by your ability to write such a good review about a genre you are not really familiar with, just like you did with your Deafheaven review. Hats off to you, sir.

SeaAnemone
August 4th 2011



18854 Comments


lol inveigh
fixed

and thank tyr, yeah I'm trying more and more to write about metalcore, electronic, ambient, crust punk, etc. genres a little out of my comfort zone I think it's good to expand when possible instead of just writing about every single good indie album or big-time emo album lol

SeaAnemone
August 4th 2011



18854 Comments


... I mean if I hear some then maybe

G3N3R1C
August 4th 2011



1945 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. And i agree.

Tom93M
Contributing Reviewer
August 4th 2011



1106 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The biggest thing i got from this EP is hope for the future of this project.

Inveigh
August 4th 2011



24196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pos'd.

jk I pos'd the first time but yeah good review Sea. hopefully these guys push it a little more with their next release(s)

SeaAnemone
August 4th 2011



18854 Comments


"hopefully these guys push it a little more with their next release(s)"
exactly what I'm hoping for
I could see these guys putting out some really cool tracks. there's some interesting ideas here but the elements are never all in the right place at the right time sorta. that being said this is still great.

i really resisted my urges to write the review 90% just making fun of chino's voice.


FelixCulpa
August 4th 2011



1236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, and great Ep.

Inveigh
August 4th 2011



24196 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

there's some interesting ideas here but the elements are never all in the right place at the right time sorta

my thoughts exactly

Crowe
August 4th 2011



435 Comments


"Options," for instance, isn’t drastically different than something you’d find on White Pony.


I'm pretty sure that White Pony was a varied album, as far as what sounds it contained, so this sentence's meaning is kind of ambiguous.

and stretchinggggg out his voooooooocals too long to the point where they become borderline cheesy


Haha, this is a good use of irony. Props.

You used the word 'aesthetic' too much, in my opinion.

But good review all around. I like reading the contributor reviews here, so I'm not trying to just nitpick on you personally.



SeaAnemone
August 4th 2011



18854 Comments


no offense taken crowe, I love a critique when somebody has something to say haha (more often than not my reviews can definitely use it)
yeah I should've varied my diction a little more a la aesthetic... problem was I wrote it in two sittings I think.

acorncheese
August 4th 2011



7115 Comments


this sounds ghey



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