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"Deftones" (Maverick)
"White Pony" (Maverick)

"Deftones" (Maverick; 2003)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

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I don't know why it took Chino and friends four albums to finally give one an eponymous title, but "Deftones" has most definitely arrived and is armed with the healthiest balance between jagged firepower and shimmering mope rock that the band has displayed since "Around the Fur."

This 11-track collection is decisively heavier than the experimental "White Pony" and finally showcases Stephen Carpenter's guitar as the righteous riff machine it's always been meant to be, especially on the uber dynamic "Battle-Axe." Besides a heavier musical approach, once again Deftones prove why they're the band to emulate. The song structures are meticulously metallic and equally melodic, far surpassing any of the nu-metal contingent with the possible exception of System of a Down. Intriguing rhythmic patterns, Chino rising into another vocal stratosphere, and "Minerva," a sweepingly epic number, are amongst the more than 7,000 reasons why this self-titled release by a quintet from Sacramento may just be the band's best work to date, and a strong contender for album of the year. 

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"White Pony" (Maverick; 2000)

Reviewed by Paco

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I've been letting "White Pony," grow on me for awhile now and it has grudgingly earned a good deal of respect. In this regard, it is much like old Sonic Youth: I never really liked it very much, but I respected the fact that they were advancing the art in a way that no one else was. The Deftones are doing the same thing.

"White Pony" is a rock album. It is not metal or rap-metal and it's not particularly fast. But it is heavy and you certainly won't confuse it for classic rock. The influences that you hear are very different from what any other band has: bits of Pink Floyd, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins and Cypress Hill, just to name a few. If Billy Corgan collaborated with Maynard Keenan, it might sound something like this, except there would probably be a few more hooks.

The lack of hooks is what made it hard for me to get into this, especially in the first five songs. The last half of the CD impressed me very much though. If modern rock starts to sound more like this,  then I'll be very happy.

"White Pony" is a successful experiment in advancing the state of the art of heavy rock.

Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Nov 2020 20:51:44 -0500.