Saturday Night Wrist

Written by: PP on 07/11/2006 14:15:07

History has shown that internal differences tend to produce the best records (just see At The Drive-In as an example), so when rumours about a fallout between Chino Moreno and the rest of Deftones started circulating the internet, the low expectations after the near-mediocre 2003 self-titled album suddenly got a lot higher, and deservedly so as we've now found after the groups long-awaited new album "Saturday Night Wrist" arrived in stores.

Already as "Hole In The Earth" opens the album with its huge open ended riffage and Chino subtly throwing out a "Woah!" in the beginning, you can tell that the band has got it going on the album. Stephen Carpenter's riffs haven't been this superb since "White Pony", and the song goes directly into the Deftones top10 chart. The following song "Rapture" then is completely opposite, being much more resemblant of the band's heavier songs during the "Adrenaline" and "Around The Fur" era, and sees Chino explode into spasms of screamo and manic shouts, while Carpenter's still keeping up with the gargantual vintage Deftones riffing. But the quality hasn't topped just yet, the over five minute long "Beware" is among the best songs Deftones has ever written. Chino truly shines with his ghastly clean, whiny vocals and hasn't sounded this good on a slow track since "Digital Bath". The song progresses forward slowly with Chino's restrained desperation in verses exploding in the choruses together with Carpenter's long, unmatchable open-ended riffs lifting Chino's voice even higher than it already is.

The fourth track "Cherry Waves" follows the trademark Deftones sound the first three showed forward as well. The open-ended riffs continue to create an increasingly open water kind of atmosphere, and Chino's swaying vocals wobble nicely during the chorus giving the song that special Deftones touch that makes it stand out from rest of the 'nu-metal' groups, and also proves the incredible range Chino possesses. "Mein"'s riffs seem to be oddly off-tune but still pleasing to the ear, acting as the last 'simple' song before the band moves onto the experimental section of the album. The ambient, vocalless "U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,SELECT,START" (otherwise known as the Konami code) is the most atmospheric song we've heard from Deftones to date, with its subtle drumming faded to the background and soft, undistorted guitars leading you on a journey through your imagination. "Xerces" starts where the previous song left off, using effect-filled atmospheric keyboard to support Chino's soft semi-whispered vocals, before the chorus brings back the distorted guitars and Chino's high-flying extended vocals that were missed on the last two tracks. "Rats! Rats! Rats!" works like "Rapture" as the hardest track on the album, where Chino again sounds like an animal just released from a cage screaming uncontrollably, directly relating to the bands earlier material more than the later. Likewise, "Combat" will appeal to the fans of "Around The Fur" as Chino is screaming throughout the choruses, and bear in mind this isn't your Senses Fail type of cliché screaming, this is the kind of unrestrained, unproduced shrieking only Chino is able to perform. "Kimdracula"'s opening riff brings back memories from "White Pony", while the closing song "Riviere" starts out as one of the most quiet songs the band has written, but even so Chino's vocals pierce through your ears with their sheer magnificence, before we see Carpenter returning for the very last time on this album to what he does best: fretting colossal riffs to the horizon that seem to have neverending magnitude.

The only criticism toward the album is the absolutely horrible, senseless "Pink Cellphone". Why this spoken-out mess of feedback, ambience and noise made the final cut is incomprehensible. But disregarding that minor flaw, the songs Deftones presents after a three-year wait turn out to be worthwhile, as this is clearly some of the best material the band has written in years, and while it doesn't compare in heavyness to "Around The Fur", it beats "White Pony" in epicness and the slow songs, and certainly deems the self-titled album as a mistake of the past. Welcome back Deftones & Chino, we missed the riffs that only you can do and the incredible whiny vocals that nobody else than Chino is able to do so well.

Download: Rats! Rats! Rats!, Beware
For the fans of: Tool, A Perfect Circle, Team Sleep
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.10.2006
Warner Music

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