In 1998 Far released what is considered by many to be one of the top 10 influential albums of the “emo” movement in music, Water and Solutions. This record and band attracted a strong cult following in the late 1990s, due to the single “Mother Mary” and the band touring with long time friends in Deftones and Incubus. The album itself had a more melodic sound and richer fuller production thanks to Dave Sardy, who was the producer on this album. The lyrical subject matter of Jonah Matranga and his vocals stretched from the raw screams to a more soulful singing voice, thus providing a real sense of intimacy for the listener to relate the words to. Musically the band has always been on point. Shaun Lopez distorted guitar and his remarkable tone is highly influential. His knack for creating a driving riff with the right amount of melody is often replicated but never quite the same as he does it. The rhythm section of John Gutenberger and the hard hitting drums of Chris Robyn were as tight as tight can be. John’s bass bellowed with the right amount of thump to push Chris’s heavy playing into the heights of the right amount of heaviness needed to fit with Shaun’s playing and Jonah’s vocals.
Sadly, not long after they released Water and Solutions, the band broke up. Though in 2008, the band reformed for a handful of US dates, and also a small UK tour. And in 2010, released a new album At Night We Live via Vagrant Records. At Night We Live is a solid album, and not just a throwback. Again though in 2011 it was announced that Far would not be be getting back together as there was just “too much drama.”
Far is one of those bands who will always be recognized for the great work they did, the material they put out, and the bands they influenced. And those of us who were fortunate to see them will always know that for sure.
Far- Water and Solutions:
By: Brian Lacy
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
Crosses (featuring Chino Moreno and Shaun Lopez) are gearing up to release their full length debut on February 11, 2014 through Sumerian Records. The first single and accompanying video (featured above) “Bitches Brew” is an intoxicating sexual beast. It features a very sultry groove and beat, that invokes some R&B love making soul then switches gears to an awesome rock track. Be on the look out for when they hit your city on tour. Their live show is very intimate and makes you want to dance.
By: Brian Lacy
When the term “side project” is thrown out in the public most people’s reactions are quite speculative. Throughout the past few years there has been a number of “Supergroups” that have formed and have failed miserably, though there are now two that stand out and surpass the “supergroup” and “side project name. The first being Them Crooked Vultures (featuring Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, and John Paul Jones) and followed in a close second is Crosses (featuring Chino Moreno of Deftones, Shaun Lopez of Far/The Revolution Smile, and Chuck Doom)
In late 2011, Crosses released their first EP. This collection was met with great anticipation and was quite intriguing to fans of all the members involved. From the moment the first song “This Is A Trick” kicks in there is no denying that this was going to move you. Every ounce of the individuals working on this project is included in the songs especially my personal favorite (from the first E.P. “The Holy Ghost”. It’s a wonderful blend of electronic music mixed with the warm subtleties of alternative, all the while showcasing the talents of Chino Moreno as a vocalist and lyricist and Shaun Lopez’s guitar and production work.
Come to January of 2012 and E.P. number two was released, continuing where the first one left off. The collection of songs on the second E.P. have a more live feel to them allowing the listener to really grasp the raw feel but at the same time have the same effect that they felt from the first E.P. The stand out track “Telepathy” has a fun good time dance vibe to it that makes you want to get up and and start moving.
Crosses recently went out on tour and I had the wonderful opportunity of getting to witness their first show at the Glass House in Pomona. They played every song they had including the B-side “The Years” and a new track that had the audience silent just listening. While it was the first show, and of course there were the fair share of routine sound issues, they certainly didn’t disappoint. Their live band consisted of Chris Robyn (from FAR on drums), Dino Campanella (from Dredg on drums/keyboards), Jono Evans (From Endless Hallway on guitar/keyboards), Chuck Doom (bass), Shaun Lopez (guitar/keyboards) and Chino Moreno (vocals).
The set while short, sure hit every note and struck a chord with all in attendance. There is no denying that once these guys have a few more shows under their belts, Crosses will be one amazing entity live.
Do yourself a favor and head over to their site www.crossesmusic.com and download both E.P.’s you will be completely satisfied that you did, and it will leave you wanting more from them soon!