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Saturday Night Wrist

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★★★★½
(87 Reviews)

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Description

1992 release on TVT featuring various interpretations of songs that appear in their proper form on the ’Broken’ EP. Six tracks, including ’Wish’ (Remixed by J.G. Thirlwell), ’Happiness Is Slavery’ (Remixed by T. Reznor and Chris Vrenna with P.K.) and ’Fist Fuck’ (Remixed by J.G. Thirlwell). Digipak.

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  • 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.

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • There’s a point at which you’ll need to realize something – the Deftones don’t make music that the mainstream finds accessible. This is a good thing though, because they never fall into the trappings that bands achieving double-digit millions of sales do. Simply put, if you listen to FM radio all day, you’re likely to think this album is boring, because your palate has become bland from the steady diet of saltines on the radio.

    The Deftones are ahead of the curve – they always have been. They are a barometer for where music isn’t at any given time. We’re stuck in some emo and indie fad where the bands put their feelings, fake or not, right out for you to see right away. Chino will never directly tell you what he or the rest of the band is feeling or thinking. They allude, and let you decide the rest.

    Thus, we have Saturday Night Wrist. The song titles will never tell you what it contains, and even then, the lyrics paint almost abstractly across the atmosphere of the songs. “Pink Cellphone” is going to take a fair amount of flack, and rightfully so, but that’s exactly what the Deftones wanted when they made this song and put it on the disc. If you don’t think they knew that, you’re fooling yourself – it’s a smirking middle finger to the mindless sheep that make up the bulk of the mainstream music market. Listen to the monotone, the lyrics, and read between the lines for the statement of the song, and then the title makes sense.

    “Cherry Waves” and “Xerces” are the genesis of this band, a statement on where this band currently is, and unmistakably Deftones. They’re simply beautiful. They’re heavy, and not in the ‘metal’ sense of the word – they’re thick and rich. “Beware” revs and revs until it snarls, and “Kimdracula” kicks it into passing gear, just before the melodic cruise control of “Riviere” floats you down the road.

    The Deftones construct music that is sometimes hard to swallow. But the reward for giving it a chance is far greater than any other band on the planet. It takes work to appreciate a fine painting, haunting photograph, or a novel, and Saturday Night Wrist is fine music – get the album and draw your own conclusions. It will never be something that makes the Deftones media darlings and sell 15 million copies, and that’s just fine with me and all the other diehard fans.

    Posted on February 17, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Although I’m still a fairly new fan of the Deftones, having only purchased their fantastic album “White Pony” a couple of months before this album’s release, I still greatly anticipated it. And, whether you’re new to the band, or a die hard fan that anxiously waited three years for this, “Saturday Night Wrist” is definitely more than worth the purchase.

    I must admit, this album took a few spins to really sink in for me (as opposed to “White Pony”, which I loved from the first listen), but it was worth the effort, because this is great stuff. While not quite as eclectic as “White Pony”, there’s still plenty of diversity here. You’ve got psychotic heavy tracks like “Rapture” and “Rats! Rats! Rats!” (best title ever), dreamy epic tracks like “Beware” and “Cherry Waves”, and melodic hard rock like “Mein” (featuring Serj Terkian from System of a Down), “Kimdracula”, and “Hole in the Earth”. “Pink Cellphone” is mostly straight-up electronic, bringing a bit more of the Team Sleep influence to the table. This song also features spoken-word vocals from Annie Hardy, from the band Giant Drag, and if you’re familiar with this band, you probably know what a naughty little girl she is, and thus her contributions here won’t surprise you.

    More eclecticism comes with the slightly jazzy “Xerces”, and an ambient instrumental track, whose name is a big long video game code that I can’t remember offhand. Nice peaceful track, though. The album ends nicely with “Riviere”, which starts off soft and elegant, and subtly builds up toward the end.

    Overall, this is a really solid and well-accomplished release. While I think I still prefer “White Pony” on the whole, I still think this album is a definite progression in sound, especially Chino’s vocals, which are more polished and dynamic than ever. Musically they’re staying fresh and trying new things, while retaining their signature style. Yep, these guys are clearly far from out of ideas. If you’re even remotely interested in the Deftones, definitely pick this up. Hell, even if you don’t like them, give it a try anyway, because you never know…

    Posted on February 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I consider myself a fairly well-rounded musician: I’m equally happy studying an Antonio Carlos Jobim chart as a Stravinsky ballet or a Dillinger Escape Plan song. And over the last 10 years, Deftones have somehow kept me hooked. I was drawn in by the raw emotion of “Adrenaline,” then the too-slick-for-its-own-good sound of “Around the Fur.” Then “White Pony” caught me blindsided with an album filled to the brim with mysterious, beautiful and catchy songs. But then there was the self-titled album, which just felt sort of aimless, and never really gripped me. To be honest, I thought I was too old to rock, and didn’t even know if I would purchase “Saturday Night Wrist.”

    But what a great purchase it was! This album shows a Deftones that has matured both as people and as musicians. The thing that made them so unique–dark, heavy riffs and intricate, stylish drumming underneath hauntingly beautiful melodies–is really brought to light on the album. Clear examples of this unique style are: “Hole in the Earth,” “Beware,” “Cherry Waves,” “Xerces,” and “Riviere.”

    But even the heavy songs like “Combat” and “Kimdracula” hit their marks well, not to mention the brilliant “Rats, Rats, Rats.” The surprise of the album is definitely “Pink Cellphone,” which, at certain points, sounds like it fell off a Peter Gabriel album. (And the ending IS funny, but like all jokes, the humor wears off after you hear it a few times. Eventually, you skip that part of the tune, and wish they’d just cut it out to begin with). In my opinion, the only real uninspired track is “Mein,” which–to me–just sounds like one of those songs that ‘isn’t quite there’ so you throw as many tricks at it as you can, and in the end, still just isn’t all that good of a song.

    Every Deftones album takes a few listens all the way through to really be appreciated. This one is no exception. After a while, you start noticing Abe Cunningham’s flashy ghost notes tossed in all over the place, where before all you heard was heavy banging. You start noticing that Stephen Carpenter is playing far less power chords, and more counter-melody. You start noticing that Frank Delgado is a great addition, and some of those keyboard and ambient parts really bring the songs together. And finally, you notice that you’re singing along with Chino, and you think, “Man, these are some strange melodies.” I don’t know if he knows he’s doing it, but Chino has a real gift for coming up with melodies with all sorts of awkward intervals, and unpredictable chord tones (major 7ths and 9ths abound, among others).

    My only complaint about the album is the same complaint I have for all new rock albums: it’s mixed too loud, and some parts distort (that aren’t intended to). It’s a shame they dropped Terry Date for this album, but if it got them out of the slump of the self-titled album, it was completely worth it! Bless those Deftones. There really is nothing else like them!

    Posted on February 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • It’s been a long time since we last heard from the Deftones. Too long, as a matter of fact. After dropping 2003’s less-than-amazing self-titled album, the band pretty much dropped off the face of the Earth. Despite the fact that not even a year after that album came out, it was announced that they were recording a new album, trouble still seemed to be brewing in the Deftones camp. In fact, the way they would tell it in their own words, in interviews and such, they nearly broke up. But, together with production from legendary producer Bob Ezrin (who they ditched half-way through) and Shaun Lopez (guitarist and vocalist for Revolution Smile/ex-Far) the Deftones overcame adversity and have overshadowed just about anything you have heard all year. Yes, “Saturday Night Wrist” is indeed an instant classic.

    Sounds Like: The Deftones have returned and are back on the right track.

    The Good:
    - Stephen Carpenter’s hypnotizing riffs, Chino’s crazy vocals, it’s all there!
    - Plenty of diversity. Some of their most experimental and edgy material sits well amongst the darkest and heaviest. Much like “White Pony.”
    - It sounds nothing like any other Deftones album, but still sounds like the Deftones. Go figure.

    The Bad:
    - It probably didn’t need to be delayed as much as it was.

    Hits: “Hole In The Earth,” “Rapture,” “Cherry Waves” and “Combat” are about the most conventional the album gets. “Mein” is the closest to punk the Deftones have come, with a guest spot by Serj Tankian. “Beware” remains my favorite of the album, with plenty of ambience and slowbuilding tension. Oh, and let us not forget “Rats!Rats!Rats!” — the most evil Deftones song to date.

    Misses: “Pink Cellphone” may throw a few people off. I like it, especially the over-the-top ending, but it might have fit in better at the end of the album.

    Future: Face it, the Deftones will never be a household name, just because they are too quirky and don’t write hit singles. But I think “Saturday Night Wrist” will become a fan favorite in time.

    Personally: I am in love with this album. It evokes the same feelings I got when I first heard “White Pony” over six years ago. This is the Deftones back in action, doing what they do best. I’m sure no one could have imagined where they would be in 2006, but here they are, going stronger than ever before. Hopefully they can continue getting along and keep the excellent music coming. No one does it like the Deftones.

    Best Listened To When: Ever. This album is the perfect Deftones album.

    Posted on February 16, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now