“When you’ve got Crosswires, Everything is Buzz Buzz,Everything is Beep Beep”…
It is surely no accident that Cross Wires, a four piece from East London, share their name with a track from XTC’s first album. There’s a moment in ‘Modern Art’, the opening track from ‘Your History Defaced’, the dark and desirable new EP from Cross Wires, when you wonder if Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding have got back together for one final studio blast. The meandering verse gives way to a skewed chorus that’s almost singalong if new wave post punk is your thing and you really hate the concept of singalongs.
Yep – Cross Wires have no crossed wires when it comes to understanding their place in the history of popular music. There’s a raw, deliberately under-produced excitement that permeates throughout this five track EP. “The past is always repeating, I can’t run away“, sings Jonathan Chapman within ‘Tab Clear’. This is an EP with a knowing nod towards early Jam, a dash of mod and a double serving of punk.
I asked Jonathan why Cross Wires had settled upon ‘Your History Defaced’ as a title for this EP:-
“All the songs on the EP are kind of twisted versions of things that have happened to me. The idea behind it was we are all carrying around this baggage with us and we all have our own reality. Two people can have two different versions of the same event. It comes from that idea really.”
That sense of unresolved baggage from the past looms large; ‘Last Stand’ tells the mournful tale of a woman who’s getting older and no longer ‘rules the town’ as she once did. Elsewhere, we have persistent ghosts living in houses, misunderstandings and future days filled with dread. This is music that can hardly be described as happy; it comes from too claustrophobic a place for that. Sonic Breakfast highly recommends that you give it a listen over at Bandcamp.