The first missive from ††† (aka Crosses) was a relatively easy fit for Deftones fans — what with Team Sleep and Deftones noiseweaver Frank Delgado already acclimating audiences to Chino Moreno‘s vocals overtop of electronic compositions.
A surprisingly jagged and confrontational listen, “EP †” was above all else overtly seductive. On this latest release from the heralded Deftones/Far offshoot, the bluntness of the electronics and percussion has been replaced by a much softer cadence — though the sense of hazy longing remains.
Boasting an increased amount of analog instrumentation and a looser vibe, “EP ††” lacks the tension of their debut bow. The pressure of making a lasting first impression is off and this has paved the way for some rather dreamy dirges. If anything most of “EP ††” could be summed up as the electronically-aided equivalent of aural Melatonin.
Feeling inherently more live-oriented, the songs seem written with performances in mind. This is understandable given their touring plans, and the lingering distortion-led drone of the included track “Fron†ier” proves that there is merit to this approach.
But the oddly undeniable standout track here is the dancey electro funk found on “†elepa†hy“. With it’s bouncy bassline and hauntingly detached vocals, it is clearly the highlight of the more organic direction ††† have taken upon themselves. Even if it finds itself somewhat out of canon for the players involved.
It’s certainly not easy to pass judgment on a band this early into their career, especially when their past works play so heavily into any bias. But as a whole “EP ††” comes off a tad rushed in comparison to their debut. It lacks the expected complexity and is perhaps a bit too breezy for its own good.
Most of the tracks, while lovelorn and wistful, favor texture and atmosphere over song development. Yes they’re enjoyable and and haunting, but they lack the spark to make them wholly memorable.
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