Based in East London Cross Wires are Jonathan Chapman (Vocals) Peter Muller (Guitar, vocals) Pete Letch (Bass, vocals) and Ian Clarke (Drums)
I’ve seen the band’s sound described as everything from punk to post punk to indie to new wave and pretty much everything else in between. In all honesty it’s a blend of all of those and then some, it’s almost impossible to completely pin them down but drop then into the British music scene in the mid to late 70’s and the early 80’s and they would have been right at home.
As a record Interaction: Dislocation is short, sharp and to the point. I know it’s not the done thing to review music by numbers but when you’ve got a 4 track EP clocking in at just over 10 minutes you can be pretty certain that there is no wasted motion here. ‘This is who we are, this is what we do, now deal with it.’
Walking Wounded sets the EP off in good style, the track feels like a real throwback to that era that I mentioned above. There are definitely flashes of the Jam but the song carries more bite than that. It just sounds like a single from top to bottom; the guitar riff is simple and carries the song along coupled with a great driving drumbeat underneath. It’s on songs like this that I feel that the band are at their best.
With that being said I think that they lose their thread on the next track Last Days Of Rome. The verses are set against a bouncing beat and fun rhythm until a slow and droning chorus kicks in. I’d take a guess that the band were aiming for this massive contrast in sounds but I think that it ruins the flow of the song. I understand the intention but I don’t think that the execution is quite there.
It’s not long however before the band are back into their stride with the raw, gritty and straight pissed off Progress. A chorus which includes the repeated cry of ‘Just not fucking progress’ pretty much says it all, with even a few shots at reality TV thrown in for good measure. This is where I want the band, throwing darts of lyrical venom over sharp Indie rhythms. Final track Flesh carries a little more finesse and not the straight hard-hitting edge of the previous tune but it’s a decent track all the same. It shares quite a lot in common with the opener which means that things are rounded out in solid fashion.
I think that Interaction: Dislocation shows flashes of what Cross Wires are capable of. Overall I think that the EP is more than solid and even very good in places but lacks the consistency and magic something that makes you really sit up and take notice. That’s not to say that the record isn’t without plus points as Walking Wounded and Flesh are decent little tracks while Progress is very good, however I still think that Last Days Of Rome lets the side down a little bit.
A solid if not remarkable effort from Cross Wires which although it might not really grab you and get you to take notice right now demonstrates enough to show that there could be better to come.