It’s been three years since the self titled album dropped, and I must say that the new album Saturday Night Wrist is definitely worth the wait. Coming at a time when Nu-Metal contemporaries like Korn seem to be trying to redefine themselves for umpteenth time, the lads from Deftones simply step up to the plate and deliver a gritty rock album, without frills and gimmicks aimed at keeping diehards in the building. From the moment I heard the first track “Hole in the Earth” I knew I was in for a memorable listen.
Maintaining that signature passion, the band allows new elements into the music by bringing in producer Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Pink Floyd, Lou Reed etc) who is known for his impeccable attention to detail… Bob Ezrin brings a certain amount of discipline and diversity to the music, giving the band a chance to go places they haven’t gone before. He also furnishes them with the right amount of tension; just enough to give Chino’s vocals room to roam. Moreno’s vocals which are produced on this by Shaun Lopez are amazing. Even though he does not scream his way through every song, there is still enough bite to provoke raw emotion. The guitar work benefits a great deal from the production, allowing it to go indie, metallic, psychedelic taking full advantage of distortion and echoes which in turn give it a dark, edgy feel. Sonically they are still aggressive, however it is more focused than before which keeps it well rounded.
It’s something of a classic rock album dressed in metal clothing intended to appeal to anyone with a good ear for solid rock. They consciously stepped outside of the box on this one. I talked to a few Deftone diehards about their thoughts on this album, and as I expected there is some disappointment because it took them further away from 1995’s Adrenaline, which tells me the band achieved some measure of success not because they may have alienated fans, but because they are able to grow their sound, no small feat with industry demands being what they are.
There are many highlights on this album, but be sure to check for “Hole in the Earth”, “Rapture”, “Mein” (Featuring Serj Tankian) and “Xerces”. One lesser, but interesting song is “Pink Cellphone” (Featuring Annie Hardy), which is not really bad, it simply does not bring anything special to the table. I might be alone on this, but Saturday Night Wrist, in my opinion, is definitely a winner.