On Our Radar: Toronto music veteran C.Ross reinvents himself in dramatic fashion on "Wrong Side of the Sky"

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      As résumés go, it’s an impressive one—the kind that suggests some people do music as a hobby, and others do it because they on some level have to.

      While C.Ross’s video for “Wrong Side of the Sky” is the reason we’re gathered here today, the man known to Torontonions as Chad Ross has something of a history in the North American underground.

      Canadian garage-rock historians will remember him first surfacing with T-Dot alchemists the Deadly Snakes—a band that, while rooted in garageland, was known to dabble in gothic Americana and roadhouse R&B. After crawling from the wreckage of the Snakes, Cross proved himself nothing if not musically malleable with Quest for Fire, a dronetastic four-piece that sounded born to play Austin’s Levitation festival, preferably between Black Mountain and the Black Angels.

      These days Cross fronts Comet Control, a band as versed in paisley-splattered psych as it is in distortion-strafed shoegaze.

      The beauty of his solo veture “Wrong Side of the Sky”, off his new solo full-length Skull Creator, is that it has little in common with any of the above.

      You know how there’s an arc to the day when you’re in a cabin by a lake, or camping next to a river under towering trees? Maybe you start the morning bright and beautiful with the Beatles, build a healthy afternoon buzz to the Meat Puppets or Hank III, and then slide into the evening with Calexico or Gun Club?

      Produced by Vancouver’s multi-talented Joshua Wells, the pedal-steel-swept “Wrong Side of the Sky” is for when the campfire is burning low, the moon is high in the sky, and nothing tastes better than a Marlboro Lights and two ounces of Basil Hayden’s. Got a thing for abandoned farmhouses, overgrown rural graveyards, and skies the colour of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road? If so, you’re going to fucking love C.Ross in his solo guise.

      As for the “Wrong Side of the Sky” video, animated by Waterloo, Ontario’s Olde Nightrifter, crawl into a hammock, take a couple of hits off a Snoop Dogg-sized stick of Gorilla Glue, and then get ready to let your mind go. Half the fun is playing “What is that?” when what looks like a liquid-gold digital volcano morphs into a humanoid rib cage, netherworld ogre, and shining sacred heart.

      And for five minutes that are as gorgeous sonically as they are visually, half the fun is feeling like you’re in another world, where deadlines, bills, watermelon, and Pierre Marcel Poilievre don’t exist. Imagine being able to take responsibility for that on your résumé.

      You can listen to C.Ross's Skull Creator here, and order it on vinyl here