If you were caught in the ridiculously captivating web that UK band Cross Wires spun with their Assembly EP earlier this year, or indeed the releases before it, be prepared for a new rapture with the band’s recently released Your History Defaced EP. For all those new to the invigorating brew of post punk, new wave, and garage rock which the quartet potently brew, the release is quite simply a devilish treat just waiting to infest your senses. Consisting of five eclectically and creatively warped slices of sound which is simultaneously nostalgic and refreshingly new, the EP reinforces and pushes on the riveting emergence of this severely tantalising band.
Hailing from the creative depths of Bethnal Green and Romford, Cross Wires who take their name from a track on the XTC debut album White Noise, took little time from forming in breeding an impressive reputation locally through their live performances and sound. It was a presence soon spreading with their first pair of releases in the tasty shape of the Forward/Repeat and Animal Heat EPs in 2011 helping spark that growing awareness which the Dark Water EP a year later, soon drove to even wider recognition and attention. Assembly saw the band take another step in sound, songwriting, and success which Your History Defaced looks like not only emulating but surpassing as it seduces fans old and new, as well as the underground media alike.
Opener Modern Art is an instant irresistible offering, slithers of acidic guitar crossing a bulging bassline and feisty beats for an irrepressible coaxing of ears and imagination. Instantly thoughts of bands like Fire Engines and Wire come to mind but just as swiftly the song shows a more rounded and fuller sound from the band than ever before but one still draped in open originality. Right away the vocals of Jonathan Chapman romp with the same mischievous potency as that spicing the sonic intrigue of Peter Muller’s guitar and the rhythmic bait cast by drummer Ian Clarke and bassist Pete Letch. It is arguably the most pop friendly song from Cross Wires to date but one swinging with a rhythmic swagger and melodic flirtation which is virulently infectious and unpredictable. Think Franz Ferdinand meets The Freshies and you get a good hint of the impressive romp.
Shades Of Light And Dark comes next and soon has a jangle of angular guitar temptation teasing ears as vocals dance with resourceful frivolity over the feverish agitation of beats. There is also a chunkiness to the riffs which ignites the passions as easily as the sonic persistence and repetitious ingenuity flourishing within the thrilling weave of enterprise. The song continues the EPs strong start but is soon surpassed by the thumping and imposing devilry of Tab Clear, everything about the song heavier and more intensive yet equipped with the same contagious weight of hooks and spicy grooves as those before it. The bass of Letch is especially a throaty treat whilst the vocals straddle the whole encounter with a lustful energy and expressive magnetism which seemingly inflames the scintillating tempest of sonic and discord washed endeavour around them.
The thumping rhythmic entrance of Last Stand is all that is needed to ignite the passions, an immediate ardour which is enhanced by the layers of scything riffs and pulsating bass persuasion which underpins the again impressive vocal adventure of Chapman and band. There is a Buzzcocks like flavour to the imagination binding grooves and hooks whilst the song’s overall unconventional catchiness reminds of fellow emerging UK band Houdini. The result is another addiction sparking encounter which in turn is surpassed by the closing punk spawned storm of Vultures, a deliciously raw and rapacious stomp of Swell Maps like causticity and dour infectiousness courtesy of bands like The Lurkers. It is a pungent and thrilling end to an outstanding release from a band hard not to take a lustful shine to.
If new wave and postpunk with a modern mischief excites the ears than Cross Wires and the Your History Defaced EP is a must.
Your History Defaced is available now @ http://crosswires.bandcamp.com/album/your-history-defaced
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