†††: A cure for the February blahs

Chino Moreno's side project  †††  just released its full-length debut February 11. The self-titled full-length is mostly a collection of the group’s previous work issued on a pair of EPs in 2011 and 2012,  but it’s also got some new stuff and, I’ve got to say, it’s proving to be quite soundtrack to my current state of mid-winter blahs.

†††, (pronounced “crosses,” of course) so features Moreno’s longtime friend Shaun Lopez (Far) and Chuck Doom.

A bulk of that new material was originally supposed to be released as a third EP but the project was shelved as Moreno turned his attention back to the Deftones

Now, however, the album’s been released via Sumerian Records and ††† has played a handful of Southern California and New York shows (including an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live). 

Some people have tried to label †††’s music as “witch house” –i.e., dark, occult-themed electronica, noting both the band’s sound and its proclivity for crosses (both in its name and in the titles of its songs–all songs use a  in the title).

Moreno, however, has dismissed that description.

“I didn’t want people to think we are a religious band, a satanic band, or that we are a witch-house band,” he told the Alternative Press in a 2012 interview. “It’s difficult using a religious symbol, but at the same time, I think in an artistic way, it can totally go somewhere else and I think we are walking that line.”

To me, the sound is straight-up Depeche Mode meets Nine Inch Nails–i.e, vintage late ‘80s/early ‘90s brooding and ethereal-tinged industrial. You know, kind of pretty, dance-able stuff but with the occasional scream and trash of pure cacophony.

And frankly, if giving this record a listen doesn’t cut through your pre-spring malaise, I don’t know what will.

The band plays Coachella in April. In the meantime check out the sound (as well as the video for one of the new tracks “Bitches Brew”),  here.

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