After yet another long three year wait, the Deftones have finally unleashed their newest offering “Saturday Night Wrist” on the public. As can be expected (as has been evidenced by every single release they have put out so far) the Deftones have grown leaps and bounds over their time off, and have put together a completely fresh and different sounding record. The best advice I can give you is to not go into this album expecting a sequel to any previous cd. Just like Chino said, “We’ve already made those records once, We don’t want to make them again.” So true my friend, so true.
So how does everyone initially act when a Deftones cd is released? “Is it Heavy?” “Does it sounds like “White Pony” or “Around The Fur”?” “Is it good?” Aren’t these always the same questions you get? Well I’ll do my best to answer them. This record overall, really isn’t that heavy. Sure it has it’s moments, most particularly “Rapture” and “rats!rats!rats!”, but even the heavier moments are a bit tame compared to how heavy the band had been in the past. And yet this sounds nothing like what the band has done in the past (meaning no White Pony/Around The Fur Pt.2). So that means the album is bad, right? On the contrary, “Saturday Night Wrist” is anything but bad.
The Deftones always make it a point to challenge their listeners with their music. “Saturday Night Wrist” is no different. This is an album you can just put on, kick back and feel yourself drifting away to. Just like all their previous records, this one also offers a little bit of everything, something which is always appealing about the band. “Hole in The Earth”, “Kimdracula” and “Mein” are all mid tempo rock pieces which sound like they are destined to be hit singles. These help give way to more diverse tracks like “Pink Cellphone” (this album’s answer to “Lucky You” and “U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,Select,Start” (named after the infamous Konami Code.) Then there is of course the previously mentioned heavier tracks. Having such diversity on the record is what really makes each listen to “Saturday Night Wrist” worthwhile. I can still listen to records like “White Pony” from front to back, and feel like I get the most out of it. “Saturday Night Wrist” will undoubtably leave the same impression on you.
As far as musicality goes, The Deftones are always on top of the game. Stephen (and Chino’s) guitar playing is always magnificent. While his crushing riffs may not be as present as before, he hasn’t been this adept at creating atmospheres since “White Pony.” “Cherry Waves”, “Xerces” and “U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,Select,Start” all play off the lush string arrangements he has written. He can still handle himself on the faster songs though, so don’t worry. Abe and Chi might be the most impressive (and yet underrated) rhythm section in this type of music, and as always they never miss a beat. Especially on the above mentioned tracks, they add layers upon layers to the songs, which make them song more like gigantic masses, rather than just “songs.” Frank’s soft keyboards and electronics are sparcely scattered throughout the disc, but when they are fully embraced (“Pink Cellphones”) they can make or break a song. And with Chino as the front man (and the glue which holds everything together) the band’s sound is complete. Whether he’s whispering out of breathe or struggling to scream above the music, his diverse performances (and ingenious lyrics) are always one of the highlights of every Deftones album. “Saturday Night Wrist” is no different.
It took me a few spins to really let the album sink in. Then again this is always the case with any record the Deftones put out. Take my word for it and give “Saturday Night Wrist” at least a few opportunities to “wow” you. It’s going to take more than one. If you can appreciate how this band is always trying to do something new and innovative, this should be a record you have no problem enjoying. If you don’t or are unwilling to make that effort, then I must ask what are you doing listening to these guys to begin with? Not a clone of any previous record, “Saturday Night Wrist” is once again a launching point for the band to go off into even further uncharted territory. Where exactly that territory is has yet to be seen, but rest assured, it’s going to be good.