Deftones, Saturday Night Wrist
I’ve been a huge Deftones fan ever since I saw them open up for the Bad Brains, way back before Adrenaline even came out. I also really dig the fact that they’ve managed to grow musically over the near-decade that I’ve been following their output — pretty much outgrowing the nu-metal/pimp rock/rap-metal/whatever genre seemingly for good with White Pony. I remember the first time I heard that album; it fucking blew me away, man. It was heavy and dense, yet melodic and groovy, pretty much everything I like about music all wrapped up into one neat little package (we’re talking about the original release, sans “Back to School”).
With all that said, I was pretty let down by Deftones‘ the self-titled followup. Sure, it was a return to heaviness, but in a more ham-fisted, “look, we’re still pissed off and metal” kind of way. By this point, I thought the band was better than that. Nothing really caught me on that album, and to this day I break it out once every few months to see if something grabs me, but to no avail.
Of course, after that, I followed all the info that preceded Saturday Night Wrist‘s release with trepidation. I’d pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to get any better than White Pony, and it seemed be doubtful that any subsequent Deftones album would even come close. All the talk in the press about band tensions and acrimony with original producer Bob Ezrin didn’t really help matters any. I mean, if a band hires Bob Freaking Ezrin to produce something and after about a year of recording, numerous accounts (including some from within the band) label the material produced as pretty much worthless, well…chances are you’re in for a shitty end-user experience.
Now, meet Shaun Lopez. He apparently saved the day (from what I can gather), and helped shape a possible clusterfuck into at least the second best, possibly the best album that the Deftones have put out so far.