Cross Wires – Assembly EP Review

Cross Wires are an East London/Essex based four piece consisting of Jonathan Chapman (vocals), Peter Muller (guitar), Pete Letch (bass) and Ian Clarke (drums).

The band played their first gig at The Others in Stoke Newington in late 2010. Since then they have played across London and Essex at venues such as Camden Barfly, Sebright Arms, Queen of Hoxton, 93 Feet East,The Half Moon,The Rhythm Factory, The Wheelbarrow, Heroes Bar, The Silver Bullet and Hoxton Underbelly.

The band has featured on numerous blogs and radio stations including Amazing Radio, Sounds Good To Me Too, Rock N Roll in My Soul and Luminous Plectrum.

To date they have released four EPs – Forward/Repeat and Animal Heat in 2011, Dark Water in 2012 and Assembly in 2014.

You can find a free five track download of tracks from the three EPs at crosswires.bandcamp.com

Cross Wires Assembly EP

Cross Wires Assembly EP artwork

Starting track Stranger’s Bed is a punchy rock track that builds and falls away perfectly. The vocals are faint and slightly distorted which adds to the post punk feel of this band. The chorus, “Is it bad enough?/Waking up/In a stranger’s arm/In a stranger’s bed…” hints at the meaning behind this song. There’s a sense of incompleteness, a sense of un-fulfilment and the neediness for affection whoever it comes from. It hints at human’s need for love and how we will sometimes settle for something that we know is inadequate because it’s better than being alone.

Acid Bath has a funky rhythm that is built around the bass notes and the off beat drumming. The lyrics are repetitive, “What’s the point of all of this…” and “Radar” but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This is a progressive rock track that lends itself to be slightly experimental.

The third track I Want To Be Your Man (Again) has an incredibly memorable chorus whose scattered guitar with its high tone and off beats gives it a good rhythm. The lyrics in this song are good as Chapman sings about the loss of a relationship and the regret felt when we let something go that we perhaps shouldn’t have regardless of it being good for us or not, “Every time I see you walking down the street/I think about the past and what used to be/I used to be your man/I used to be your man…I want to be your man/I want to be your man again…All the things I hate in myself I see in you and nobody else/But I still want to be your man…” This is a feeling most people can relate to.

White Dress finishes the Assembly EP off nicely with its pop and summery feel. This starts as the most romantic track on the EP as Chapman sings the narrative of a groom’s wedding day, “It’ll be alright/I see you in a white dress/And time stands still/I see you in a white dress/You’re so beautiful…” before it turns sour, “I see you in a white dress/I feel sick/I see you in a white dress/My mistake/Nothing lasts forever/Regretfully/I see you in a white dress/And I feel sick…”

Assembly EP is a diverse snippet of the Cross Wires. Assembly EP is out now, you can purchase it here.

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