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.