Deftones-B-sides and Rarities.
Seems unbelievable now that it was ten years ago when four teenagers from Sacramento, came out with their first release “Adrenaline" and a sound which was as much heavy metal as it was hip-hop, a very testing yet unique guitar sound, and a collection of some of the best, most claustrophobic songs ever heard and was a genre defining album. Songs like “Bored" and “7 words" made people shut the *** up and listen, and then relate. Where as Korn were always hailed the kings of nu-metal, Deftones have always been the thinking man’s version, a band that were far too cool for said label and in fact would call themselves nu-metal at all. But what proves the heavy metal champions worth is that they are still the only most consistent, well respected and generally amazing band to come out of that time, sound and attitude. This is the Deftones.
This is a collection of the songs, covers and adaptations that never made any of their other records, but deemed good enough for this, plus a fantastic DVD with ALL the videos, and marks the 10th anniversary of the “Adrenaline" release (or at least, the American version did). Cut down to only 14 songs and just over an hour of music, its quite clear there was a heavy amount of editing to compile this collection, but all the better, this proves as a much more focused, thought-out record and is one of the best anthologies around.
And right from the word go you are drawn into this very special collection. Deftones cover/jam session of ‘Savoury’ with and by Far, is truly astonishing, the amount of energy emitted by this recording is enough to give the world’s atmosphere another 30 or so years, it’s as if you were in the room watching them at it. While Deftones acoustic sessions prove their depth quality of songs, ‘Change (in the House of Flies)’, ‘Digital Bath’ and ‘Be Quiet and Drive (far away)’ sound fantastic here. These adaptations however don’t stray too far away from the original songs themselves, and it’s perhaps a little disappointing that you don’t really find anything new with them, but that, is because they’ve left that to their covers.
Deftones are a band renowned for their covers, and as Abe Cunningham (drums) explains “Like any song that we have covered, we first run it through our hearts then let it sink into our marrow, while having respect for the original, and hoping having a little fun." . And this completely shows up here, their versions of Skynyrd’s ‘Simple Man’ and Helmet’s ‘Sinatra’ are truly something, a real tribute to their peers without being over blown or simple. What’s more are their bizarre covers of great pop songs, including the bass driven “No Ordinary Love" (watch out for the amazing ringing out chord which hangs around for an eternity) or even Duran Duran’s ‘The Chauffeur’ which Chino’s vocals work perfectly with.
The truly stunning moment here though is their live cover of The Cure’s “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep", performed at the MTV Icon show in tribute of The Cure, a show where every other band, (Blink 182, AFI, Razorlight etc.) simply copied The Cure. Deftones however, showed their utter integrity with a very special, intense and atmospheric reworking of The Cure track, and completely stole the night as a result. The very fact they were playing a Cure tribute show also reveals a great deal of Deftones’ influences, mostly from the 80’s, but some of the most content bands around and the obvious input into Chino’s lyrics this creates. Because along with The Cure is a fairly cheeky cover of The Smiths’ ‘Please, Please, Please let me get what I want.’
As for the actual original B-Sides though, this is perhaps a little misleading. The only B-side that the Deftones wrote on here is ‘Around the Fur’ recording ‘Chainsaw Punch/I’ll Throw Rocks at You’ and, although being a fantastic song itself, it’s a bit of a shame that it is the only previously unreleased Deftones song on here.
The DVD is something else though. They have thought past just playing the videos in chronological order, they have thrown in two unreleased videos for ‘engine number 9’ and ‘root’, and exclusive live and behind the scenes footage in between the videos, as well as small title pieces for each album, something not really touched upon in music DVD. As for the videos themselves, they remain some of the best works in music video ever made; ‘Bored’ still remains a work or art to this day in the way it portrays teenage suburban boredom, while showing a fairly contemporary way of filming band performance, while ‘Hexagram’ shows the intensity of Deftones smaller live shows, in a special secret fans only gig at a skate park.
So all in all this is a pretty essential collection; an anthology with great incentive to purchase. Nearly all the songs here are unreleased and have the added bonus of being mostly great, and owning all the Deftones videos, finally, is a great feeling. Kudos to the one band who made it out of nu-metal alive, they know how to compile an anthology CD.