In terms of modern electronic music, Crossover have been around ‘since dirt’. Birthed at the fashion apex of Electroclash, their sound was distinctive enough even then to stand out from the crowd.
I first heard them on one of the ‘Dr. Lektroluv’ compilations around 2002/2003 and have followed them (on and off) since. Neglected albums like the 2005 “Cryptic And Dire Sallow Faced Hoods Blast Off Into Oblivion” and 2009’s “Space Death” honed a unique and personable brand of dark, cerebral electro on stand-out tracks like “Black Mess”, “Little Pointy Teeth” and “Caveman To Spaceman” – intriguing lyrical mantras and dark humanistic investigations over liquid beats and biting synths.
Come twilight 2014, a new Crossover album slithered out of the darkness, “Funeral Flowers.” Available at first on cassette only, it can now be found also on CD via their website. It is by any measure the best the band has ever produced. Treading in the waters of electro-pop and witch-house but with a singular voice all their own, “Funeral Flowers” strikes as violently contemporary and yet detached enough to be timeless.
The album opens with “I Wanna New Planet”, a brooding clarion call of dissatisfaction and catharsis and continues with a handful of tracks that can only be described as ‘future classics’ (not a term I use lightly).
Crossover have the courage (or the necessity) to stare directly into the gaping maw at the centre of bloodless, consumer-shell-shocked modern society. A place where meaningful conversation has dissolved into mindless blather about the latest techno-gimmickry and human connection is all but a decrepit relic. “Shatter The Night” materialises this despair, voiced in sublime duet by Mark Ingram and Vanessa Tosti, each pleading couplet counterpointing the other superbly.
Perfectly shaped and executed, “Death Of Us All”, eviscerates the fiscal and corporeal leviathan that entwines and smothers us all – to a nifty beat and pleasing arpeggios.The eponymous “Alien Rock” just might be our world, incomprehensible and windswept, a barren home for those that actually understand, Tosti ghostly to Ingram’s bitter resignation.That our lives are an elusive set of half-glimpsed phantoms billowing through mundane architecture and mediocre confections is the bedrock of “Shadow Of A Nightmare”, a velvety hymn for the dissolute and adrift.“Whispers In My Sleep”, is plaintive, beautiful and unforgettable – the somnambulist who longs to dream, the ghost who wishes to die – carried on a spidery arrangement of breathy synthetic simplicity.
It’s not all bleak however, “Funeral Flowers” is delivered with enough spritely rhythms, smarts (and a mischievous forest-elf wink) to make the medicine go down most pleasantly indeed.
Justice is no naturally occurring substance in this world. If it were, they would be shouting the name Crossover from the rooftops.