Chino Moreno’s been a busy guy of late. Not only did the Deftones frontman spend a large chunk of last year on the road touring his primary band’s latest record, but he also found time to release the fantastic Palms collaboration with three former ISIS members.

Meanwhile, † † † (Crosses) – the collaboration between Moreno and Shaun Lopez of post-hardcore band Far – have been pursuing their shadowy brand of ambient electronica for a few years now. 2011 saw the release of their debut EP, which they followed up in 2012 with the † † EP. Their latest offering combines all ten cuts from the EPs plus five previously unreleased songs. Guided by Moreno’s trademark sensual croon, † † † is a tour through the dark side of goth-tinged electropop. There’s the groove-heavy (‘Telepathy’, ‘This Is A Trick’), the spacey (‘Nineteen Eighty Seven’, ‘Cross’) and the flat-out anthemic (‘Bitches Brew’, ‘Prurient’). The songwriting could be a little more inventive, with the majority of songs conforming to the verse-chorus formula. And at 56 minutes, the album is at least ten minutes too long.

Still, † † † is an otherwise excellent outing from a band that defies its side-project status and demands a seat at the table with its bigger siblings.

Out now on Sumerian/Warner

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