Sometimes you stumble across bands you just aren’t ready for. Back in 2010, I attended my first festival. It was Download and some band were subbing to Rage Against The Machine called Deftones. I’d not checked out any of their stuff and they did not impress me. Only one of my mates, a fine fellow nicknamed Blink was into them at the time. He shook his head whilst we all acted really bored.
Fast forward probably a few years and I made friends with a great lady (nicknamed Pinky) who had started working in the same office as me. As we grew to know each other, the main connection we seemed to have was music. I remember a discussion were we spoke about our favourite bands. Pinky happened to bring up how much she loves Deftones. The next thing I did perhaps wasn’t my cleverest idea, I said I’d seen them but didn’t really “get them”. I think the phrase “hell hath no fury like a womans scorn” would apply well here, as I was given a look of sheer disgust and disdain. That look alone was almost enough to convince me to give this band another choice and I finally got round to it this year.
I can tell you now that I’ve completely embraced this album. Deftones produce track of track of bittersweet perfection on here. Heaviness is perfectly mixed with melody and Chino’s vocals simply take it soaring to new levels. It’s a touchy feely album but at the same time has a whole load of balls and comes across as incredibly genuine. There’s some great riffs on here, but there’s nothing overly self-indulgent and technical that some metal bands are sometimes guilty of. Here is a bunch of guys just producing honest expressions on life with their music, a la punk. I always pick up on the sheer passion of feeling in these songs above anything else and that’s no bad thing when a band puts this much into it. They go into melancholic and angry moods with equal ferocity. The songs are fantastic too, this isn’t just a case of me going “oooo it’s all emotional I love it”.
This album’s a walking contradiction for me, as it sounds equal parts humble and subtle as it does massive and elevating. For me to make such a shift on this band is a dedication to just how strong this record is. So sorry Blink and Pinky, you were right all along. In fact, to prove me even more wrong, I saw Deftones live this year and they were one of the highlights of a seriously fucked up weekend.
Personal Fave Track: “Back to School (Mini Maggit)”