Thursday, November 8, 2012
Deftones: Koi No Yokan
With there Bassist now awake from his long time coma but still recovering the band marches on. They find themselves men out of time, yet some how maintaining relevancy due to their once ground breaking output. Alongside Tool they are one of the few bands who the nineties spawned that was able to survive the vastly changing musical landscape , which burdened them by being thought of in the same breath as nu-metal. Sure their first two albums are dated by some of the rap rock moments, they escaped Limp Bizkit status with White pony and some unhindered Faith No More worship which was tempered with Pixie like sensibilities on some occasions and a more Radiohead vibe on others.
the albums opens with an almost Root Bloody Roots pulse, but they balance things back out "romantic dreams" to show they are not hot topic juggaloos in baggy bondage pants.The hook is smart and the production saves them from falling in with the current crop of idiotic radio rock.
Former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega,retains his duties on the album in place of Cheng. His thump comes from a different place than Cheng's and while its no secret Quicksand was an influence of the deftones, "romantic dreams " is the only song where this is really worn on their sleeves.
"Leathers" has one of the more jarring intros, but this smooths out and the chorus remins as smooth as anything else on this album. The screamed vocals are a thing of the past and even on the heaviest moments it's still only in the "King for a day " territory when they launch into the punchy stacatto sections but more often than not they stick to being next door neighbors to A Perfect Circle. Thankfully all traces that a hip hop element was every present back in the " Aderenaline" days are long gone.
they can no longer hand with today's definition of metal, nor do they really lean in that direction , perhaps its their age . there is a strong sense of the Faith No More influence , almost as strongly as it was present on their self titled fourth album, which along with Around the fur , i would say this one has the most in common with. There are moments like "Entombed" which remind me of Smashing Pumpkins in there almost depeche mode like period, but i think largely due to Chino's superior pipes this is pulled off much better. In fact with out Chinos personality inflected voice this song would bore me as its meandering wears thin as the build takes it time with little pay off.
"Graphic Nature" is one of my favorites on the album mainly due to its darker chord progression, but it leans heavily on ground it feels like the band has tread before along with a few riffs that give a sense of deja vu.
Moreno doesn't break any new ground here, his voice remains the most distinctive element to their sound.He does serve the songs more rather than over indulging his moans, which have in previous albums drifted south in a wall of effects. he really sells his melodies on songs like the " tempest " where they do the most justice to the sensual thump, similar to "Around the furs " better moments. He sticks to his midrange croon most of the time using more inflection in his voice rather than push it build intensity which brings more Depeche Mode comparisons, not an influence thats alien to the band.
The reason they have survived the nu-metal trend where most of their peers fell by the wayside lies in their songwriting, even when you start to think, well these guys are not metal any more those thoughts are generally bypassed because these are just good songs. the dreamier moments like "Rosemary" still retains enough of a pulse to bob your head to.
Is this 2003 ? is what I find myself thinking , like they played it very safe in regard to their identity and legacy being preserved. Will this sound like classic rock to a kid who grew up on bands like Periphery ? A song like "Gauze" starts off with the off time syncopation more than a few of the djent bands narrowed from when they weren't masturbating to Meshuggah, but the bulk of the song is laid back and simplistic when stacked against today's idea of mainstream metal and could be seen as boring.the swagger of "Goon squad" does have the last nineties skating at the mall feel to it that i can't help but wondering who hasn't grown out of it even in the suburbs where musical tastes tend to fall into arrested development.
Even on the bands stalest moments they are still more adept at their craft than an army of the alternative hard rock bands who have clamoured to take their place. They do play it really safe and stick close to what would now be seen as there classic sound, they did use some of the better pages from their own play book. Where "Diamond Eyes" might have been more experimental the song writing plays closer to their strengths. A song like " What happened to you" would have really impressed me ten years ago, it sounds like Mutemath dipping into the OxyContin to me now. So I'll give this album an 8 as it aims for the classic post Aderenaline sound and the song writing is more focused but feels a little nostalgic.