It’s hard to separate Crosses (or †††) from the “witch house” movement. Not that Chino Moreno’s latest side project really sounds too much like Salem or White Ring, but it seems that he went to great lengths to achieve the same sort of aesthetic. It’s noticeable just by looking at the tracklist – every song has at least one † in it. The name of the band is †††. The name of the EP is †. Everything about the EP points to witch house – until you listen to the actual music.
What you’ll find in the EP is less witch house and more a combination of Chino’s two other projects – Deftones and Team Sleep. As a collection of ideas, this EP succeeds. Mixing ’80s synths and beats with Chino’s distinctive vocal presence creates a unique atmosphere that you won’t find in any of his previous work. Some songs take full advantage of this – “Bermuda Locke†” in particular features a good mix of everything that works on this EP. Others, however, fall back on old tricks. “†hholyghs†” wouldn’t sound too out of place on a Deftones album – especially when the drums kick in for the chorus.
If this album were to produce a single, it’d be opener “†his is a †rick”. A heavy, driving beat surges through the song with Chino taking the spotlight and sounding as good as ever. The range of this EP is clear from the first and last songs - while the former is a loud, catchy song with big beats, the latter – “†” – is an instrumental track that capitalizes on the moody atmosphere created by the cover and the aesthetic. Everything amidst these two songs on the album also falls in between these two songs stylistically.
Clocking in at just under 20 minutes and being released on the internet for free – EP † is worth a listen for anyone with any interest in any of Chino’s projects. Otherwise, for now, this is an inconsequential EP with a few ideas that could develop into something better. However, with the fact that Team Sleep hasn’t released anything beyond their debut album six years ago, I wouldn’t hold my breath for more music from Crosses in the near future.
Essential Tracks: “†his is a †rick”, “Bermuda Locke†”