An Electro Shift, But Strong As Ever
True, there aren't many surprises awaiting fans of Deftones on the new
album 'Saturday Night Wrist', it neatly packages their trademark sound,
which is in turns poundingly heavy and ethereally fuzzy. However, although
it doesn't challenge, neither does it disappoint. The album isn't a drop
in form, in fact all the tracks are brilliant; it's difficult not to be
impressed with music that's this perfectly formed. The sound is as you
would expect an immense and epic noise. From the beautiful and sweeping
opener 'Hole in the Earth', which makes you break out in goose-bumps right
from the start with its fuzzy onslaught of heavy guitars and drums, then
lifts you up with Chino's soaring vocals and some delicate guitar riffs,
to the quirky 'Pink Cellphone' which features a bizarre but funny
monologue by Annie Hardy from Giant Drag.
Lyrically this album in some ways charts the problems the band have been
having in recent times, fears that they may split up has lead Chino to
wear his heart on his sleeve and be uncharacteristically direct with some
of the lyrics: "I hate all of my friends/ They all lack taste sometimes"
being particularly an obvious reference to issues with his side project.
Vocally though, he is on top form here, his distinctive sexy, lazy, croon/
drawl/ scream brings the tunes and lyrics to life with masses of emotion,
passion and power that demands to be listened to.
Fans aware of Chino's long running side project Team Sleep will not be
surprised to hear its influences here; there is a shift towards a more
dreamy electro sound which started breaking through on last album
'Deftones' and continues on this new album. It's not a huge change in
sound but the album as a whole does see a move away from the more intense
heaviness of earlier albums like 'Around The Fur' and 'White Pony'. They
haven't exactly gone indie yet and there are some moments of heaviness:
'Rapture' at the start of the album is as downtuned and heavy as you would
want, and of course in true Deftones style it has a killer tune, but there
aren't as many of these moments as on previous albums. This change in
style isn't something that's out of the ordinary for Deftones though;
they've always successfully evolved their sound and moved on which is what
makes them such an interesting band, and is how they've managed to stay so
relevant and so good for all these years.