Admittedly, ††† (pronounced as “Crosses”) are a little bit caught up in the gimmick of their name. All of the EP’s song titles replace the t’s with †‘s, and the enigmatic sleeve art features the band’s three crosses serving as the only indication as to who made the EP. Some might find this cool; others will instead remember that Justice did the whole cross thing better with their 2007 debut. Fortunately, the band’s love of crosses is but a superficial distraction from the very good music to be found on EP †† (or EP II, following last summer’s EP †).
†††, the collaboration of Deftones lead vocalist Chino Moreno, Far guitarist Shaun Lopez, and Scott Chuck, specialize in a brand of alternative rock saturated with electro textures and eighties pad synths. The synth work on “Prurien†” is exemplary of the latter; it’s the sort of reflective ballad that one can imagine listening to while driving at night, taking in the lights of the city. Meanwhile, album opener “Fron†ier” is the most adrenaline-laced of the cuts, balancing calm verses with a driving chorus. Both of these are standout tracks on an EP that doesn’t have a boring song on it; all five tracks are equally catchy. While the EP isn’t radically game-changing or innovative, the hooks and choruses are memorable, and the music is intriguing enough to leave the listener wondering how the band will expand on this material in the future. This type of music can easily veer toward the generic stylistics of alternative rock, but if the band keeps playing their cards like they do here then there will likely be much better to come.