Crosses – Crosses

 

Crosses’ debut album, led by singer Chino Moreno (Deftones), is about heavy rock, electro-pop, and, not surprisingly, Chino’s voice. His soaring, whisper-thin, lightning-strike-strong vocals tie together the myriad sounds explored within the album, and act as the focal point through most of it.

There are raw, heavy moments on Crosses almost reminiscent of Deftones, but the real meat of the music lies in the straightforward pop songs. With the singer’s distinctive voice anchoring them, the band is able to explore vast territories of fun new bleeps and bloops, keeping my interest piqued even late into the album.

“Option” is my stand-out track: After stewing in ambience for a half-minute, the song softly explodes into a solid bass groove straight out of Björk’s “Army Of Me.” With Chino’s crooning added to the mix, the result is a delicious blend of Deftones and St. Vincent. After a couple choruses, the bridge crescendos into one of the sweetest vocal melodies I’ve heard in awhile.

Crosses has its high points and its low points, but the album is phrased well enough, and Chino sings sweetly enough, that you come away from it happy to have listened to some quality electro-pop that isn’t Lorde.

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Howl was born in the wastes north of Hithlum, where only beasts and witches dare roam. He was raised by two old hags, Tabby and Wiles, who had an unhealthy fascination towards the literary arts. Howl now resides in a well-furnished cave off South Rim Trail, complete with an old iBook and Wi-Fi.