When bands play hard and heavy, they always take the risk of thrumming out agonizingly slow, as if they were attempting to gorge John Madden’s Thanksgiving Day turkey doused in 54 gallons of slop-gravy.
Imagine squeezing that banquet into 47:14 minutes and you get the Deftones self-titled and fourth Maverick release. Scheisse! I thought I just woke up from a coma in the middle of a nuclear holocaust after rubbing the crusties out of my blistered eyes. Maybe I just rolled off the coach from a night of binge drinking downtown? Somebody throw me a bone. These guys have the capacity of turning a splitting headache into a brain surgery session hosted by Captain Insano.
The latest release from the Sacramento quintet is a distant reach from the brusquer and more focused Around the Fur (1997) or even the critics’ teddy bear White Pony (2000). The strongest song this ensemble put together, “Teething,” emanated from “The Crow: City of Angels” soundtrack in 1996.
Though Deftones rocks at times (as metal bands do), I can’t help but feel that if a baseball bat had just bashed against my head, hovering mini-Chino Morenos would wail away around my head instead of chirping Tweety Birds. Moreno’s grimy and soaring wail slightly distinguishes the Deftones from the rest of the headbanging herd.
Yet, Moreno’s and Stephen Carpenter’s guitars sound limp. Abe Cunningham should stick to playing the kettle – I hear they need a drummer boy out in Iraq. Bassist Chi Cheng sounds like he’d rather be playing foosball with Pel