EP review: ††† (Crosses) – PERMANENT.RADIANT

Chino Moreno and and Shaun Lopez return a man down but no less chill on first ††† (Crosses) material in almost a decade…

EP review: ††† (Crosses) – PERMANENT.RADIANT
Nick Ruskell

When the joined forces of Deftones’ Chino Moreno, Far’s Shaun Lopez, and bassist Chuck Doom, emerged as ††† (Crosses) in 2011, the results weren’t entirely surprising. Heavily influenced by the electronic warmth of bands like Depeche Mode, their EPs and 2014’s eventual self-titled full-length album often touched on those more chill, atmospheric moments of Deftones songs that temper the heavier bits. Exploring such waters on their own terms, buoyed by the expertise of his co-conspirators that often touched genius, what emerged was often inspired, evocative and brilliant.

PERMANENT.RADIANT, the band’s first output in eight years, finds them with creative juice at full flow, even now operating as a two-piece following a split from Chuck. Once again, this is music for solitude, for headphones, for the night. It’s a sound built on atmosphere and vastness, to the point where the actual songwriting itself (and very good it obviously is) is a secondary feature to the depth of sound in which the pair urge you to take a bath.

Cadavre Exquis, Sensation and the lush Vivien are dreamy, nocturnal things, pulsing gently with electronic drums and washes of keyboard. In those moments where guitars do make their mark, they’re another layer, rather than a grandstanding centrepiece. Throughout, Chino’s vocals take on a similar role, a haunting layer of humanity that’s weaved into a greater whole.

PERMANENT.RADIANT is a start point for more to come. Talking to K! last month, both Shaun and Chino noted how inspired they’re feeling at the moment, and how much more there is coming. “The six songs people are hearing are just scratching the surface of the vast collection we’re sitting on,” the frontman told us. If this is just the opening throw, what they do next should be something very special indeed.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Deftones, Ulver, Depeche Mode


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