Crosses (or †††) is the new band helmed by Deftones front-man, Chino Moreno. '†††' is their debut album and is an interesting, if not unique, experience. The album is something of a unique blend of chilled-out music, similar to that of Mogwai, Moby or Spiritualized, heavy Rock, such as the style that Deftones are known for, and Metal, featuring some very nice, yet subtle, screamed vocals. For the most part, this an album that you can simply put on anywhere and not get frowned at for playing. It has elements for people who enjoy all styles of music and nothing is overly thought about. This is not an album that relies on playing simple chords or repeat chugging of an open string to command your attention, but focuses on drawing you into something that is, for the most part, calm and tranquil. It's an album that is easy to get lost in but will make sure that you don't fall asleep when listening to it. Whether it is sudden screamed vocals or a change to moderately fast Rock, there is something that will come along from nowhere and take you by surprise. With so many albums being released, it's hard to find something solid, beautiful and as surprising as this.
The album begins on 'This Is A Trick', a song that has a simple yet wonderful beat. It's a song that sets the tone of the album and it's solid work. Short, simple yet catchy and demanding, switching between a slightly laid back beat for the verses and a slightly more aggressive Rock feel for the choruses. Chino sounds at the top of his game, his vocals calming and beautiful to listen to. The drums are simple and keep the flow of the song going. The guitar work, again simple, but add a little spice to the song. The basslines are something easy to groove along to, remaining simple in their appearence, demanding in their approach. The keyboard work however, is what adds the most, having a lot of wonderful elements to it and making the song that extra bit special.
The album continues to grow, with the next song, 'Telepathy', being even better than the previous track. Again, simple drums, wonderful and calming keyboard work, simple guitar work that flows well with the chorus, a bassline that will get stuck in your head and vocals that a dreamy and are most demanding at the chorus, where you could easily fall into a dream-like state. Again, the album grows with tracks 'Bitches Brew', 'Trophy', The Epilogue', 'Nineteen Ninety Four', 'Nineteen Eighty Seven', 'Cross' and ending track, 'Death Bell'. 'Death Bell' is one of those tracks that is so beautiful and calming that you don't want it to end. It's pretty much all keyboard work and Chino's voice is perfect. This is one of the best ways to end a such a solid, impressive and dream-like album. You can't decide a favourite track because of the consistency present. If you compare 'Thholyghst' to 'Death Bell' and then 'Bitches Brew', you see how diverse the album is whilst still being simple and beautiful.
If you love things like Moby, Spiritualized, Mogwai and then with elements added from bands such as Imagine Dragons, Deftones and Bastille, then this is an album for you. It's a great blend of calming, chilled out tracks and upbeat, demanding yet still somehow calming Rock that captures the mind at its most creative and fragile state. It is an essential purchase for anyone because there will be something you like on here. It's a remarkable listen and flows well, not getting boring and keeping the listener engaged. The beats are simple, the guitars are well executed, the basslines are easy to groove to, the keys add calm yet exciting melodies, the vocals are almost angelic and every song is catchy, each one having something that will stick out to you. This is my favourite album so far this year and I only hope there is more remarkable albums like this to come in the future. Listen to it. You won't be disappointed.