††† (Crosses), a side project formed by Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno and Far guitarist Shaun Lopez.
EP †, which is available free for download using some widget that I couldn't get to work and show up on this blog, really surprised me. When I first discovered Chino Moreno was to form a side project, I imagined a result similar to Shawn Chrahan's The Black Dots of Death project. Something slow paced, moodily atmosphered, very dark and often uncomfortable. In fact, with Lopez and fellow musician Scott Chuck, Moreno has created a very pleasant and engaging set of tunes on this electronic rock EP. Built upon various keyboard and synthesizer effects EP † can be described as being atmospheric, as an unusual soundscape is created which often comes across due to the contrasts between the performances between Moreno and Lopez. A good example of this is on the track †hholyghos†, in which Moreno's vocals and style in which keys are played creates an brooding atmosphere of despair, which is then completely changed when Shaun kicks in on the chorus and the track has a very uplifting sound. Switches between these two feelings can be found throughout.
Though I could barely find a way to compare it to the work of Deftones and Far, apart from perhaps saying "It's not as heavy as Deftones", one reason I enjoyed it is that the overall sound reminded me a lot of the music of Trent Reznor in both his work in Nine Inch Nails and his film soundtracks.
Overall, EP † is a very interesting, soothing and overall listening experience and according to NME a full length 16 track debut is in the works, which is great news because this is a group we don't want to be losing any time soon. They give electronic synth rock the kind of talent it had back in the 80's unlike many dull bands who give it a crack today. Anyway, it's free so go ahead and download it. What have you got to lose?
Also, I seriously can't make the widget thing work. Just type "Crosses EP" into Google and a bunch of better music blogs will come up where you download it.