Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hot Cross - Live on WLUW

Hot Cross was formed from the ashes of many well noted screamo bands, which set high standards of what the band would produce as a singular musical unit. Unfortunately, for most the expectations they held of a cookie cutter repeat of their previous bands (Sateia, Neil Perry, you and i, & Joshua Fit For Battle) would lead to a dislike of what Hot Cross would do.

Their first ep "A New Set of Lungs" set the pace both lyrically & musically and outlined a new band with a new sound that was going to operate independently of any expectations that others had of them. Forgone was much of the noisy, chaotic sounds of previous bands; in place was very well textured guitar parts with running leads dueling each other over less refined riffs. The guitar execution of the band helped set the band above, and maybe unfortunately, apart.

Also gone were singer Billy's impassioned & awkward screams- in place was a new voice- not unfamiliar, but rather just new. A cleaner voice that screams, sings, and talks along with vocal help from different members again gives the band a textured sound. Bass and drum round out a full sound with such utter perfection that its hard to not consider the possibility of them being robots.

The ferocity felt on the first ep was channeled into a much more lyrical anger backed by the aforementioned musical layering. Still enough piss and energy to go around, but when the "Cryonics" lp came out, many of those who liked Hot Cross began to tune out. Some of us though, listened closer.
"Fair Trades & Fairwells" ep came next. Mostly fast, dueling guitars, but still boasting a full and intricate sound- the previous output seemed to collide into one small record. All along a few split 7inches came out that tow the line between Cryonics and Prepare/Repair. Then came the departure of one singer and recording an album twice, the second time with said departed guitarist.

"Risk Revival" came out and took another step. Gloomy and with a more standard sound, a last step that pushed even more away. Even though its my least favorite Hot Cross record, its still a great record with some real gems and a lot of other good tracks on it. Sadly, at this point Hot Cross would go on an indefinite hiatus that they are still currently on.

Much, if not all of their stuff is still in print. Level Plane records carries a lot of it. Aside from that material there is this live set from WLUW radio. It offers an alright mix of songs (all great songs, just not much from Cyronics). This set predates Risk Revival. The quality is great.

Enjoy & excuse the long story.

Hot Cross - Live on WLUW (download)

Level Plane Records
Hot Cross Myspace Page

Now playing: Hot Cross - Vacant (demo)
via FoxyTunes

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