A lot can be said for when side projects become as good as a main project. With that being said Crosses is just that. Made up of Chino Moreno (Deftones, Team Sleep, Palms), Shaun Lopez (Far, The Revolution Smile) and Chuck Doom, this trio has created something rather special. I’ve written about them before, but I can’t get enough. They recently released their full length album. It combines the first 2 EP’s with 5 new songs. It was also put together in such an order to make a cohesive album. The new songs are just as good as their previous release, especially Bitches Brew, The Epilogue, and Blk Stallion. The mix of influences from each member and the amount of talent that each possess create such an intriguing blend. This album is great for driving around, gearing up for a night out, sitting at home and relaxing and for baby making. Crosses live is a whole different animal. Having Dino Campanella on drums and Jono Evans on guitar/keys, rounds out the entire sound. When I first saw them they had 2 drummers. Dino plays in such a way that it is almost like there are still 2 drummers there. Chino has such a distinctive voice that can be soothing as well as ferocious. Shaun has a signature guitar tone that many people try to emulate from his days in Far. Mixing those elements with an electronic sound is unbeatable.
Chino has said that this is not something that will keep him from Deftones. In fact he’s recently said that he can’t wait to get back with his Deftones bandmates to work on the follow up to their great album Koi No Yokan, not to mention working on new music with Team Sleep and Palms. It’s only mid february and I can already tell that this album will be in constant rotation for me and will probably be in my top 10 of the year
Previous Write Up:
By: Brian Lacy
Dredg are one of the most intriguing artistic bands that have come out in the last 15 years. Formed in the bay area in the mid 90’s, they found success as an independent band when they released their debut Leitmotif (their first concept record) in 1998. Shortly there after in 2001 Interscope records came calling and signed the band. El Cielo was released in 2002. The album was another concept record which was based upon sleep paralysis, a piece by Salvador Dali and was recorded mainly at Skywalker Ranch. Songs such as Sanzen, Same Ol Road, Triangle, and Sorry But It’s Over, really open your mind to a strange insightfulness. During that time Dredg toured with bands such as Deftones, Sparta, Glassjaw and Onesidezero. Their follow up Catch Without Arms was released in 2005 and was produced by Terry Date (producer of Deftones, Pantera and many others). This album again had a concept about positives and negatives. Catch Without Arms featured some amazing songs that take you on a journey of heaviness and melody, all the while showcasing the tightness of the band. The songs Bug Eyes, Ode To The Sun, The Tanbark Is Hot Lava, and Jamais Vu really encapsulate the vibe of the concept. Not long after the cycle was complete, Dredg began working on their next album The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion another concept record based on an essay by Salman Rushdie. This record saw Dredg leave the major label machine of Interscope records. This record featured a more interstellar vibe all the while still rocking. Featuring the tracks Pariah, Lightswitch, Information, Savior and I Don’t Know all showcase why Dredg have never compromised their true nature of being artists. After a break Dredg returned to the studio to work on Chuckles and Mr. Squeezy. This album was a departure from their previous efforts and focused more on an electronic tinge. Dan The Automator was behind the boards for this one, and it shows. There are quite a few standouts on this album such as Another Tribe, Down Without A Fight and The Though Of Losing You. All in all Dredg has always stuck to their guns and stuck with their artistic integrity. The members also are quite remarkable, Gavin Hayes has a silky smooth voice that caresses the lyrics and melodies. Dino Campanella plays the drums with such force it’s almost like he has a dozen arms when he plays. Mark Engles has such a clean guitar tone that really compliments the songs beautifully. Drew Roulette drives the rhythm home with his mighty touch of the bass.
Dredg has influenced quite a few newer bands over the last 5 years. They are also a band that should’ve been a lot bigger than they are, if only the label they were on marketed them properly.
Here is a full show from 2007:
By: Brian Lacy