Crosss
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Crosss

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
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"The best things we saw last night - CROSSS rock The Boat, and then some."

CROSSS (The Boat, 11:15 p.m.): A few years ago, some joker on the internet posted an mp3 of Rush’s immortal “Working Man,” but with the speed reduced to 16 rpm. And in the process we learned that, when you slow down one of the most awesome hard-rock songs ever by 50 per cent, you wind up with one of the most awesome—and hookiest—doom-metal songs ever. Not sure if Hamilton-via-Halifax trio CROSSS were taking notes, but their capsizing set at The Boat pulled off a similar trick of concealing no small amount of melody and technical proficiency within a fearsome, mountain-moving rumble of sludgy psychedelia. On their recently released Telephone Explosion debut, Obsidian Spectre, CROSSS come on like Syd Barrett fronting doom demi-gods Earth, subjecting whimsical sing-alongs to apocalyptic riffage, lumbering rhythms, and suitably grotty production, but the live setting provides a much better showcase of the sheer physicality required to pull off such deceptively static music. And just like a Rush show, all eyes are on the drummer: Nathan Doucet is an absolute monster on the kit, swinging his arms up and down in such quick yet precise strikes, it often looks like he’s driving his elbows into his snare. By the time CROSSS shut ‘er down with Obsidian opener “Lucky Loki,” the first crowd-surfer of the night has been hoisted aloft, the front row is head-bangning with choreographed precision, and singer-guitarist Andy March is unleashing lobotomizing frequencies by simply brushing his finger-tips across his strings as if he were a James Bond villain creepily stroking his cat. Safe to say CROSSS totally crucified it.—Stuart Berman - Stuart Berman - THE GRID TO


"3 dudes. 3 shows. 3 sss’s."

Gloom rock lovers must get their claws on Obsidian Spectre, the debut album by Hamilton/Halifax grunge-metal trio CROSSS. Newly out on Telephone Explosion, it’s droney and creaky and heavy, with high, distant vocals about dark-minded things.
It’s also oddly uplifting. “Dark wizards working for the greater good of mankind,” they once wrote in a bio.
You’d expect bandleader Andy March to cite the usual suspects – Sabbath, drone, mushrooms – as inspiration. He does not.
“My main influence is actually Indian classical music,” he says. “Maybe that sounds crazy, but it’s true.”
In 2009, after putting in time in Halifax-affiliated bands Cousins, Tasseomancy (back when they were Ghost Bees), Museum Pieces and Verbal Warnin’, March started CROSSS in Montreal as an excuse to collaborate with Play Guitar drummer Christian Simmons. They released one single before March moved to Toronto.
In Toronto last winter, he restarted the band in earnest with the current lineup of bassist Ryan Allen and drummer Nathan Doucet, who moved back to Halifax shortly after. “I’ve been driving to Nova Scotia a lot ever since,” admits March, who currently resides in Hamilton.
Like the band’s transient stop-start existence, the album didn’t come easily. With a very specific sound in mind, March recorded, mixed and mastered the A-side himself, redoing those steps until he nailed it. The B-side is a long improvisation between March, Simmons and Lantern’s Zach Fairbrother that developed over several months during CROSSS’s Montreal years.
“It turned out to be something I really cared for,” March says, “so I saved it for three years until now.”
carlag@nowtoronto.com | @carlagillis - Now Magazine (Print)


"FRESH VID: CROSSS"

Halifax is the north east North American city that gets most lost in the shuffle I feel. Isolated and all alone out there in the Atlantic; we’re not that far away here in Boston, but you still need to get across the border and drive for like 15 hours to get there. So despite our relative geographic closeness there is not much interaction between much of New England and Halifax as far as I know. Correct me if I am wrong. And it’s too bad because the city has a great musical history (The Super Friendz being my favorite Haligonian export) that continues today that I would love to see and hear intermingle with us strange music makers and aficionados hear in Boston. CROSSS is one such contemporary Halifax band that should demand the attention of your ears. Their sound is a mysterious doom laden psych-pop thing, 90s indie rock and grunge sounds colliding, but with that crucial ingredient, originality, also in the mix. Kind of a sound that the Boston of now loves (Fat History Month, Pile, Speedy Ortiz). Their first record is called “Obsidian Spectre” out shortly on TELEPHONE EXPLOSION, and the video we present to you is for the song “Lucky Loki”. The video is an eye catcher, pretty weird (just how we like it), while the song is a downer psych-pop gem that owes a serious debt to early doom metal. Of course that’s doom as filtered through the ingrained sounds of the last 30 some odd years. Fuck yeah Halifax, what else you got? Oh yeah, also, dudes from CROSSS, why no Boston date? People would love you here. Whole album streams below. - See more at: http://www.bostonhassle.com/2013/05/16/fresh-vid-2/#sthash.8uxz1pxE.dpuf - Boston HassleFRESH VID: CROSSS


"FRESH VID: CROSSS"

Halifax is the north east North American city that gets most lost in the shuffle I feel. Isolated and all alone out there in the Atlantic; we’re not that far away here in Boston, but you still need to get across the border and drive for like 15 hours to get there. So despite our relative geographic closeness there is not much interaction between much of New England and Halifax as far as I know. Correct me if I am wrong. And it’s too bad because the city has a great musical history (The Super Friendz being my favorite Haligonian export) that continues today that I would love to see and hear intermingle with us strange music makers and aficionados hear in Boston. CROSSS is one such contemporary Halifax band that should demand the attention of your ears. Their sound is a mysterious doom laden psych-pop thing, 90s indie rock and grunge sounds colliding, but with that crucial ingredient, originality, also in the mix. Kind of a sound that the Boston of now loves (Fat History Month, Pile, Speedy Ortiz). Their first record is called “Obsidian Spectre” out shortly on TELEPHONE EXPLOSION, and the video we present to you is for the song “Lucky Loki”. The video is an eye catcher, pretty weird (just how we like it), while the song is a downer psych-pop gem that owes a serious debt to early doom metal. Of course that’s doom as filtered through the ingrained sounds of the last 30 some odd years. Fuck yeah Halifax, what else you got? Oh yeah, also, dudes from CROSSS, why no Boston date? People would love you here. Whole album streams below. - See more at: http://www.bostonhassle.com/2013/05/16/fresh-vid-2/#sthash.8uxz1pxE.dpuf - Boston HassleFRESH VID: CROSSS


"Pick of the Week (past/present/future)"

The spirit of Syd Barret lives on in Canadian three piece Crosss. With a slightly grungier psychedelia than early Floyd, the debut album Obsidian Spectre is a confidently cut gem that I for one find really exciting.

The entire album is streaming on the front page of telephoneexplosion.com but to add further encouragement towards giving it a listen, I’ve posted all 8 tracks below.




Crosss guitarist and vocalist Andy March is also label head of Youth Club Records and the cassette orientated Craft Singles, both featuring predominantly Halifax and Montreal based bands.

Obsidian Spectre can be bought here. - Leigh Wright


"CROSSS - Obsidian Spectre"

Not long ago I reviewed the ‘Lucky Loki’ by CROSSS. It was a heavy number with a gutsy guitar riff that was heavy but almost had a lot of rhythm to it, which allowed for the dreary vocals to casually sprawl themselves on top while the drums backed up the rhythm by performing a stoner rock/sludge-esque vibe which definitely got me excited for Obsidian Spectre, CROSSS’ debut album.

What’s clear is that CROSSS have an abundance of guitar riffs just lying around waiting to be unleashed on the listener. ‘Smoke’ in particular brings out a simple guitar riff which is very effective in allowing the extremely trippy lyrics to shine through and confuse the listener in a haze of the minds eye and other strange topics. Tracks such as this and ‘Witching Hour’ show off just how different CROSSS are compared to what else is out these days, and with the tempo not too bothered about being urgent it’s hard not to enjoy the hell out of this album.

‘Sacred Cow’ takes the heavy sound in a different direction with a riff that’s a little less grotty to give off a desert rock feel that has a more straight forward sound to it. While the heaviness is still present there’s more space for extra instruments to seep some extra rhythm into, and with the combination of the riff with the vast lead guitar this track easily becomes the most accessible and catchiest on Obsidian Spectre.

Obsidian Spectre is a very solid effort that definitely gets CROSSS’ sound out there. As mentioned before there are a huge amount of guitar riffs and other memorable moments, and with the easiness of the tempo a lot of people will be turned on to it immediately. While it would’ve been nice to hear the band experiment a little more to bring out longer cuts the material on this thing is solid throughout, and we do get a 20 minute epic that acts an atmospheric experience more than your standard closer after all. But yeh, this is a great debut, and I can’t wait to see where CROSSS go from here. - Elusive Little Comments


"AUX Top 10: June 2013"

Here’s a trend we can back: The druidic takeover of pop. Not that Crosss are pop—not even close—but, unlike its early-game billing, Obsidian Spectre doesn’t fit neatly into extreme-music classification, either. Built on grunge-era guitars and demented bluesy dirge, Crosss aren’t crushing; hypnotic would be a better descriptor. Indeed, instead of building around crushing grooves, Obsidian Spectre deliberately plods, driven by near-instructional chanting that’d sounds less like lyrics, more like ritualistic spell-casting. Most surprising, however, are Crosss’s occasional forays into jitter-pop—no surprise, considering the off-kilter Halifax scene some its members called home, including Heaven For Real drummer Nathan Doucet—which makes Obsidian Spectre wonderfully digestible, even on first listen: “Sacred Cow,” “Smoke,” and “The Witching Hour” all possess a, well, possessed melodicism that haunts long after the LP’s concluded. (MT) - AUX TV


"Video: Crosss – Bones Brigade"

Oftentimes we need to add some sort of explanation when posting songs that mainly feature guitars. Such caveats are unnecessary when writing about the latest video from Crosss. The Halifax band is so dark and gloomy, they can sit comfortably by their bleepbloop counterparts. - Silent Shout


"Video: Crosss – Bones Brigade"

Oftentimes we need to add some sort of explanation when posting songs that mainly feature guitars. Such caveats are unnecessary when writing about the latest video from Crosss. The Halifax band is so dark and gloomy, they can sit comfortably by their bleepbloop counterparts. - Silent Shout


"CROSSS, Obsidian Spectre"

In the chilling video for CROSSS’s “Bones Brigade”, a figure in an ominous black cloak kneels motionless on a beach, staring blankly off into the grey sky, as if in a trance. He remains like that, stock still, hypnotized, for a full three minutes and 30 seconds, his motionlessness becoming more sickeningly unsettling the longer it lasts. Finally, at the end of the video, he bows — as if in supplication to some god or spirit or eerie form that only he can see. He straightens, and the video cuts to black. That turns out to be a handy encapsulation of the Halifax group’s aesthetic: slow-moving, hypnotic and deeply, deeply creepy. Sounding something like Thee Oh Sees slowed down to about 2 RPM, the group tops grimy, repetitive chord patterns with wicked-warlock sneering, making for a final product that feels invested with prime ’70s sorcery rock black magick. “Smoke” warns, “Look into your mind’s eye/ don’t forget to not let your guard down” as guitars churn and boil like the steaming liquid in a witch’s cauldron. “Old Sound” draws its dark strength from its continual, gooseflesh-raising dives from major to minor key. Throughout, its members acquit themselves as if they’ve all just done kegstands with the blood of Kali Ma — dead-eyed, dutiful, and wearing sickening grimaces. - Emusic


"Crosss interview with Andrew March"

If you’re just joining me then you might have missed out a little bit. I am of the opinion that a gerat deal of the best psychedelic music from across the globe comes from Canada an area which I feel is a highly overlooked source of amazing tunes. I’ve talked with several bands from America’s great white cousin to the North, Canada, including Powder Blue, KRANG and Shooting Guns in an attempt to get people to stand up and pay attention. Now I’ve got another name to add to the list of increasingly impressive and talented bands exploding out of Canada right now, Crosss. On the tail of several extremely promising cassette tapes Telephone Explosion recently unleashed Crosss’ debut album Obsidian Spectre on an unsuspecting world! With previous releases from Ty Segall, Charlie & The Moonhearts and Teenanger long before Segall became a trendy household name, Telephone Explosion holds a special place in my heart as one of the first specialty labels I ever from years ago at this point. So when Telephone Explosion announced their newest release I went in with high expectations. I was not disappointed. A poignant combination of grunge, psych and just enough metal to keep things really interesting Crosss is proving to be an incredibly unique voice amongst the increasingly chocked Canadian psych scene. A swirling amalgamation of some of the heaviest psych I’ve heard in a long time and some clever interesting composition Crosss is nothing short of jaw dropping. Now that I have the obligatory name dropping, comparisons and hype out of the way why don’t you just click on this link and listen to some tunes? http://crosss.bandcamp.com/ It will help you get into the right headspace to read about one of my absolutely favorite new bands; Crosss…

What’s your lineup? Is this the original lineup or have you gone through some personnel changes?

Nathan Doucet and Ryan Allen join me now, my name is Andrew March. There have been many lineups but this is the real one.

When and how did you all meet?

Halifax is a small place and we’ve known each other for a long time. Nathan and I however became close friends during a time of parallel turmoil. We both lost our minds and souls to others and we helped each other recover them. That’s when the real band was born, I guess we are co-shamans. Ryan tags along with whoever is driving out of Halifax, so that's his role.

Are any of you in any other bands? Have you released any material with anyone else? If so can you tell us a little bit about it?

We’re all lifer musicians and Halifax is a prolific town, so yes we have other projects and many other releases. Nathan is in a notable band called Heaven For Real, and Ryan has one called Cold Warps. I run a cassette singles label called Craft Singles and operate a record lathe.

Where are you originally from?

I'm from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Was your household very musical growing up? Were any of your relatives musicians or very interested in music?

Yes my grandfather was a professional musician and educator. He was a bandmaster in the Navy and played most instruments very well. My father is a gifted intuitive pianist and guitarist and my mother is a very good singer. She won a lot of competitions as a youngster. My younger brother studies the Tabla and is actually very good. My older brother taught me my first instrument, electric bass, and he also played French horn. We were a very musical family, which is not at all uncommon in Nova Scotia.

How were you first exposed to music? When did you first become interested in music and when did you first become interested in writing/performing music?

I always intended to be a musician, ever since I was a child. There’s a famous quote amongst my family of me as a child saying, “I want to be a musician like gramps so I can make money having fun”. I hold that same pathos now, though the ethos has changed. I wanted to write music as soon as I realized that man was inherently and forever becoming, I’m happy to be part of that process now.

Where is the band currently located?

We're an hour east of Calgary Alberta, on the trans-Canada, watching the sun set behind endless fields of wheat, looking forward to twenty-three hours of prairies and highway ‘til Chicago.

How would you describe the local music scene where you are at?

The scene in Halifax is very special. I would be betraying too much to too many good friends to say any more. Just take a look on Bandcamp. Things have been evolving in beautiful and complex ways since before I was around, and thanks be to gods, will continue to do so.

Are you very involved with the local scene?

Yes, one of the local studios lets me record there in the nights, so I try to document as many of the bands as I can. Craft Singles has twenty-six releases now, and most are local Halifax bands.

Has it played a large role in the sound, history or evolution of Crosss?

I would - It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine


"Crosss – ‘Obsidian Spectre’"

As the title of this debut LP suggests, Crosss are a band concerned equally with texture and form. This Halifax power-trio make rugged and ruthless rock music whose punch comes from a combination of pristine sonics and deliberate structures. Each track here (save perhaps the 20-minute droning closer, ‘Will O’ The Wisp’) would make the perfect accompaniment to educational pamphlets such as:

“How To Make Heavy Psych Rock 101?

“Growing Your Fanbase: Appealing To Potheads, Witches and Bikers”

“So You Want Your Song To Be In A Skate Video?”

“The Frightening Powers Of The Natural World Revealed!”

“How To Use Occult Imagery Without Going Off The Deep End”

“Biblical Violence And The Black Sea”

“The Bowie Approach: Appropriating What The World Thinks Is Cool But Ultimately Too Scary For Their Own Good”

That’s right, Crosss have culled all the evil bits and pieces from metal, stoner rock, drone, doom and psych music and made them frighteningly appealing, downright palatable in fact. And that is what makes Obsidian Spectre such a success.

Despite it’s heaviness, it never feels alienating, intimidating or over-bearing. When it hits it feels a little like a poison kiss. All of these mid-tempo, sludgy jams are ripe for meditative head-banging. Rather than a reaper’s scythe cutting you down mercilessly in an open field, this record feels like an outstretched arm tempting you from beyond the portal. There is a welcoming tenderness somewhere under the black veil. The songs are concise and tantalizing.

It’s amazing to imagine that this music is actually made by three people. Like the pummelling tunnel visions of Shellac, Crosss’ execution is so acute and powerful that the songs hit with a single-minded precision. If ever you’ve felt drawn to the darkside, Crosss are the fated ferrymen who await you patiently. - Southern Souls


"Crosss Prep 'Obsidian Spectre,' Map Out North American Tour"

There's not much information available on the internet about Halifax band Crosss, but their debut album looks to be a decidedly trippy affair. Obsidian Spectre is due out on June 11 via Telephone Explosion Records.

The album reportedly draws on reference points ranging from drone to psychedelia to '90s post-punk. A press release cryptically reads, "Look deep inside the heart of the mountain, block out all the sun, listen to the tales of some old crow, half-truths and old world portent, an omen, lie down to worship, now see a bright light, turn up your stereo, hear that old sound now."

The full album is currently available to stream at the bottom of this page. Most of these eight songs are fairly succinct, but closer "Will-o'-the-Wisp" is 20 minutes long. A slightly lurid video for "Lucky Loki" is also below.

In the coming weeks, Crosss will hit the road for an extensive North American tour in the U.S. and Canada. Scroll past the tracklist to see the schedule. - Exclaim.ca


"Crosss Prep 'Obsidian Spectre,' Map Out North American Tour"

There's not much information available on the internet about Halifax band Crosss, but their debut album looks to be a decidedly trippy affair. Obsidian Spectre is due out on June 11 via Telephone Explosion Records.

The album reportedly draws on reference points ranging from drone to psychedelia to '90s post-punk. A press release cryptically reads, "Look deep inside the heart of the mountain, block out all the sun, listen to the tales of some old crow, half-truths and old world portent, an omen, lie down to worship, now see a bright light, turn up your stereo, hear that old sound now."

The full album is currently available to stream at the bottom of this page. Most of these eight songs are fairly succinct, but closer "Will-o'-the-Wisp" is 20 minutes long. A slightly lurid video for "Lucky Loki" is also below.

In the coming weeks, Crosss will hit the road for an extensive North American tour in the U.S. and Canada. Scroll past the tracklist to see the schedule. - Exclaim.ca


"New Canadiana :: Crosss – Obsidian Spectre"

“Look now, it’s past twelve. The witching hour is nigh. Use the evil eye.” Left-handed guitarist Andy March leads this disc into the chalked-up garage for a solemn ritual to open portals between two worlds: sludge doom and punk giddiness. Once invoked, the obsidian spectre is both punishing and playful, teaching tricks and reminding us of the golden fight. The stripped-down trio Crosss play along, bouncing reverb-drenched licks off the walls to make their mantra-verse-mantra songs pop. But when the 20-minute B-side “Will-o’-The-Wisp” hits, there’s no structure in sight. It’s like you’ve gotten lost in the dark, psychically gripping for any familiar sensation, eventually relieved to encounter mysterious light. - Weird Canada


"Canada's Crossss released an LP, playing NYC"

Canada's Crosss make a similar kind of heavy psychedelia to the first three Sabbath albums, or to more contemporary bearers of that sound like Uncle Acid or Ty Segall's new band Fuzz. But rather than going in an overtly metal direction with their sound, these guys take the approach of early '90s grunge with their raw recordings and sludgy power chord riffing. Their debut album, Obsidian Spectre, came out this past June via Telephone Explosion, and you can stream it, along with two music videos from the album, below.
Crosss have made their way into the US a few times this year, having played a NYC show back in May at Death by Audio, and they've just announced that they'll return to that venue on August 16. The show is with two other bands who mix psych and grunge well: Western Mass' Psychic Blood and Brooklyn's Spirit of Danger. Crosss' only other scheduled date at the moment is a Halifax show tonight (7/18), but if they're headed to NYC in August, maybe they'll add others along the way.
Streams from all three bands below... - Brooklyn Vegan


"Canada's Crossss released an LP, playing NYC"

Canada's Crosss make a similar kind of heavy psychedelia to the first three Sabbath albums, or to more contemporary bearers of that sound like Uncle Acid or Ty Segall's new band Fuzz. But rather than going in an overtly metal direction with their sound, these guys take the approach of early '90s grunge with their raw recordings and sludgy power chord riffing. Their debut album, Obsidian Spectre, came out this past June via Telephone Explosion, and you can stream it, along with two music videos from the album, below.
Crosss have made their way into the US a few times this year, having played a NYC show back in May at Death by Audio, and they've just announced that they'll return to that venue on August 16. The show is with two other bands who mix psych and grunge well: Western Mass' Psychic Blood and Brooklyn's Spirit of Danger. Crosss' only other scheduled date at the moment is a Halifax show tonight (7/18), but if they're headed to NYC in August, maybe they'll add others along the way.
Streams from all three bands below... - Brooklyn Vegan


"New Canadiana :: Crosss – Bones Brigade b/w Mountain King"

Craft Singles chief exec Andy March puts his best flower power foot forward on this scorched denim vest jambone. Anglofied undulations linger in the myst of heart-shaped hooks and the algebraic pterodactyl armed stick work of a Haligonian stalwart, which is all just an ostentatious way of saying that these songs totally rock. - Weird Canada


"Crosss burn bright Grunge-metal trio brings the heavy to the Silver Dollar"

Andy March keeps busy not only as the unassuming singer/left-handed guitarist for psychedelic grunge-metal trio Crosss but also as label head of Youth Club Records and cassette-centric Craft Singles, releasing albums by predominantly Halifax- and Montreal-based bands like Play Guitar, Al Tuck, Cousins and Grand Trine.
At the Silver Dollar, his own music took the spotlight. March’s high, eerie voice sailed over sludgy distorted riffs, pleasing melodies and locked-in bass that got heads banging. Time signature changes and stop/start rhythms punctuated the music, adding a progressive dimension to its main reference points: metal’s slower, psychier spectrum and lo-fi, slacker indie rock.
The short set mostly drew from Crosss’s forthcoming five-song album, which includes the excellently creepy Old Sound and Sacred Cow. March, originally from Halifax but who has done time in Montreal and, most recently, Toronto, just relocated to Hamilton, which might cut down on local Crosss appearances. Still, with so many projects on the go, expect to hear lots from him. - Now Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Crosss was formed in Halifax in 2010 by Andy March (guitar/vocals). Now joined by Nathan Doucet (drums) and Ryan Allen (bass), Crosss have toured across Canada and the US throughout 2012 and 2013.

With the 2013 release of Obsidian Spectre, the bands full-length debut, Crosss offer up anthemic drone, dark angular post-punk, Barrett-esque witchery, and garage riffs galore, with the underlying proto-drone influence of Sabbath, and other early metal.

Priding themselves on an undeniable live show, Crosss demonstrate prodigious drumming, extended guitar improvisations, and vocal melodies that haunt the listener long after.

A relatively unique and artful blend of influences, Crosss sound like a dark torrential storm gathering while an old crow crones, circling UFO's, or a funeral parade for some forgotten god.

Gaining some accolades in Canada through 2012, Crosss signed to boutique label Telephone Explosion Records in 2013, who released there debut in June of 2013. Having performed at Pop Montreal, Halifax Pop Explosion, Sappy Fest, Ottawa Explosion, NXNE, Sled Island Festival, and the Obey Convention, Crosss have started to become a buzz name in the music (under)world across Canada. With some dates on the release tour extending into the USA, and some follow-up shows in Brooklyn, the band hopes to spend much of 2014 south-of-the-border.

Singer Andy March also runs Craft Singles (www.craftsingles.bandcamp.com), and operates a vinyl lathe in Toronto, Canada. Nathan Doucet drums in Halifax trio Heaven For Real, and Ryan Allen plays in Halifax pop-punk supergroup Cold Warps.

Band Members