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Cryptic and Dire Sallow Faced Hoods Blast Off Into Oblivion


International DeeJay Gigolo Records


Crossover CD coverThe second by Crossover has an amazing album title- Cryptic and Dire Sallow Faced Hoods Blast Off Into Oblivion, and deserves credit for being a good album by an electroclash band that have not totally abandoned the sound that first brought them notice.

The NYC duo of Mark Ingram and Vanessa Tosti have fashion model looks and a mysterious air, kind of like Royal Trux in the 90s.

The CD starts off with Disgrace Chateau, which has music that sounds like Being Boiled era Human League. Mark and Vanessa both sing. The drum/percussion is more pronounced than I remember on Crossover's first record.

Messages is a EBM (Electric Body Music) styled song with Mark singing in the beginning, Vanessa at the end. The bass guitar provides the hook. While it is not one of the strongest tracks, it isn't bad either.

Chimera Chimera has electronic percussion that sounds like Joy Division She's Lost Control. Vanessa sings in the beginning, Mark later on.

Apples on a Stick is my favorite song ever by the band. It has double entendre lyrics, catchy music and vocals, and disco styled party percussion that I love.

Radio Spazio X is high energy rock n roll done electronic style. It has the same type of vocal cadence as the Eddie and the Hot Rods song All I Need Is Money or Get Out Of Denver.

My Wave has electronic music kind of like Yello used to play. There is a clever touch of steel stringed acoustic guitar providing the hook. The vocals mostly repeat My Wave.

Avatar is a threee and a half minute instrumental with a thick gothic sound, with synths that remind me of Vangelis' music for Blade Runner. The last minute and a half is just a wind sound.

Pointy Little Teeth repeates the mantra over and over - a junkies theme to relief

I get me some money
leave me alone
I wanna get high

The Visitor has a lazy pace and real nice vocals by Vanessa, which are answered by Mark. The song builds to the point where you better choose your poison is repeated, before changing to you better do it quick, which Mark answers by saying before it goes out of style.

Wilde Chylde opens with a quote from the 70s TV show Kung Fu

Today you are 7 years old - now you are a man
bury your first toy, and your Mother's picture

Mark's treated vocals dance around the upbeat track, till Vanessa starts her part of the song and the music changes.

Psychic Babies is an epic track, with Vanessa setting a mood that may remin you of Nancy Collins' Sonya Blue vampire novels, such as the unforgettable Sunglasses After Dark or A Dozen Black Roses.

Most songs share the same formula: electronic music, pop structure, one of the duo start singing, the other responds or sings later in the song. But the important fact is that Crossover write good songs and have produced an enjoyable album that deserves to be heard.

Faves: 3,4,5,9

---Carl, July 26, 2005