Saturday Night Wrist



by SubtleDagger USER (35 Reviews)
October 29th, 2006 | 83 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nu-metal kings solidify their sound but could do more thinking outside the lines.

Deftones have come a long way from their simple nu-metal upbringing. Around The Fur was a sort of initiation of the band's odd perspective on the genre, White Pony was the perfection of it, the band's magnum opus, and their self-titled follow-up seemed to ultimately confuse by strengthening dreamier soundscapes left from Pony while managing even more sheer heaviness than any of the band's previous works, yet creating a decidedly vanilla presence at times. Singer Chino Moreno's softer side project Team Sleep only added to the complexity of the situation; by the end of their last release, it was very questionable the direction the band would be heading in the near future, since everything put out beforehand almost seems bipolar to fans.

Their new record, Saturday Night Wrist, has its own share of ups, downs, shoo-ins and oddities. The album was recorded at the Morning View Studios where Incubus produced their album of the same name (to me, this is a bad sign), tooled at the band's own studio The Spot, and produced with the help of Bob Ezrin. Moreno reportedly had conflicts with Ezrin over certain issues and was consistently taking time off and working on Team Sleep. All of these factors would seem to indicate that Saturday Night Wrist could meet with any number of problems, such as being rushed, material not being judged correctly, etc. The big problem to my ears is that Saturday Night Wrist, much like the band's self-titled fourth release, is not exactly breaking any new ground, and though that's not enough to bring the album down altogether, it makes you long for bigger things.

The first single (and track) "Hole in the Earth" is admittedly great, capitalizing on the mood songs like "Minerva" and "Digital Bath" created while at the same time conjoining that atmosphere with their trademark driving heaviness. This is where the album succeeds admirably, most notably in the first four tracks. "Rapture" is consistently shifting while Moreno sounds like he's clawing to stand his ground the entire time, "Beware" is wonderfully ominous, using cricket chirps, a string of dark, brooding passages and an epic bridge, and "Cherry Waves" is just gorgeous: everything from the vocals to the sampling are just beautiful. To set aside these tracks, "U, U, D, D, L, R, L, R, A, B, Selct, Start" is one of the best pieces here, and I get the feeling it will be dismissed as a "mood track" simply because of the lack of vocals when it is clearly so much more. "Rats! Rats! Rats!" is "Rapture" only it has far more interest in demolishing you sonically. Hearing Chino blare out lines like, "I won't say nothing/ Nothing/ Not a fucking thing" at the top of his lungs while a seven string churns in odd signatures behind him is enough, but the primal screams he unleashes at the halfway point and at the end rival anything similar he's done; this is a brutal track, enough so to surpass "When Girls Telephone Boys" from the previous record.

It's about the midway point that things begin to unravel at the seams just a bit. "Mein" by almost all accounts should be another excellent song. However, Serj Tankian from System of a Down does guest vocals for the last minute and it is very easy for me to say that it brings the song down: his vocals are dull in comparison to Chino's musings. It seems like this was apparent to the people producing as well, since he is accompanied by backing singers, who only end up making things overdone and accent Tankian's unextraordinary performance. Luckily, that only carries on for a minute; the same can't be said of "Pink Cellphone", an entire track devoted to an annoying female guest vocalist being sampled over a techno beat while she talks of "the one true power" (I'm sure someone somewhere would deem this as clever were it not for the last minute of it degrading into her talking about blowjobs and cursing pointlessly). I'm not sure who thought this was a good idea, but this track is always skipped by me and I see no reason it should merit a place in your playlist.

The album closes just as well, though tracks like "Kimdracula" and "Xerces" feel like, well, more of the same idea. I appreciate that Deftones seem to have found their niche here and have a sound they have confidence in, but this fails to top White Pony, simply because that album was everywhere at once, and all those different directions work. Here, the album is in one place; it works, but every Deftones fan knows that this band is capable of more simply by listening to tracks like "Cherry Waves" and "Rats!" So why does it feel like on the majority of this album they're going through the motions? Sure, these motions are good enough on their own and definitely more interesting than their nu-metal counterparts', but this band is infinitely better when they step outside their boundaries and push the envelope. If you're not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Saturday Night Wrist is definitely worth picking up and listening to. If you are, it's still worth a listen, though you will likely be left wondering when the Deftones will retake the eclectic role they were made for.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

This album is actually released internationally on the thirtieth. US release is on the thirty-first.

October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, but I dont think this is allowed yet is it???

October 30th 2006


Good review.

I agree.

October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Why not? I just explained that it is officially released today, and people do midnight reviews all the time

The album leaked long ago anyway and it's been streaming for a while, so I don't really see why it would be an issue

October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Really fantastic review. I'm looking forward to this but I'm waiting to listen to it until I buy it when it comes out here on Tuesday. Only a couple days left.

I've heard Hole in the Earth and Beware and I absolutely love them.

Drunken Viking
October 30th 2006


[QUOTE=]Why not? I just explained that it is officially released today, and people do midnight reviews all the time

The album leaked long ago anyway and it's been streaming for a while, so I don't really see why it would be an issue[/QUOTE]
They've been cracking down and are trying to go by the American release date last I heard.

October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Who has been cracking down, the mods?

I think that's silly, not everyone lives in America, if people in Europe or wherever else want to read reviews on it it only makes sense

Either way, the review would just be resubmitted tomorrow so there's really no point

October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I couldn't agree with you more on the album Deftones and after streaming the first three tracks online I can definitely see this becoming self-titled part 2. I'd love to see Deftones hide away with Chino producing in some meth lab in Sacramento and just release something absolutely insane.

Btw, you sort of ignored Adrenaline, which is a sort of lame album anyways.

October 30th 2006


i disagree with you with alot of things, but mainly your comments on Mein. I thought that song was amazing and one of the best tracks on the album. Serj from SOAD adds a nice touch to the song

October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I left Adrenaline off because my first sentence was "Deftones have come a long way from their simple nu-metal upbringing" meaning they've come a long way since Adrenaline XD

Also, I normally don't mind Serj, but having a guest vocal spot where you intone a maximum of three notes with little to no emotion whatsoever is not even worth the trouble, not to mention it seems like he has annoying falsettos behind him either because SoaD has to have backup vocals like that or because whoever was arranging the tracks just couldn't figure out how to make him sound betterThis Message Edited On 10.30.06

October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I want this.

October 30th 2006



Oh well good job :p I'll probably still review this though.

October 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

I don't mind

It's a good album but it really is way too much like self-titled for me

October 30th 2006


Nice review. I dig these guys The white pony was a musical masterpiece, I'll definatly be getting this album i'm keen to check out the song wiith serj

October 31st 2006


deftones we're never nu-metal. a lot of nu-metal tried to copy a lot of deftones style but they were never nu-metal. it's like saying tool is nu-metal. tool and deftones circle the same drain. tool is more progessive in a pink floyd sense and deftones is more progressive in a meshuggah sense....but it's stil progressive.

i'll comment on this album when i get out to buy it.

October 31st 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Deftones were definitely nu-metal on their first two records

Tool is nu-metal

Tool also has nothing in common with Pink Floyd

Deftones are influenced by Meshuggah but they really don't sound much like them at all

October 31st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Well-written review, although I disagree about almost all of it.

This album to me seems to push the envelope even further than anything previouosly done by them. It combines the speed and fury of Adrenaline, the solid heaviness of Around the Fur, the soothing ambience of White Pony and the dark unsettling athmospheres of the self titled (plus a new level of oddity as in Pink Cellphone). However, unlike past albums there isn't the same distinction of 'hard' and 'soft' songs, but the songs are more complexly structured and more dynamic.

Also, I find Serj's vocals in Mein are the song's highlight (still my least favourite song on the album, just doesnt stay with me for some reason.)

Xerces and Combat are also two exellent tracks you didnt give due credit. This Message Edited On 10.30.06

October 31st 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

The reason I don't give tracks like "Combat" and "Xerces" credit is because, like I said, they're by-the-numbers; not bad, but nothing special

I formed that opinion mainly from listening to the album a ridiculous amount of times, like twenty to thirty... the tracks I mentioned as highlights are memorable and interesting, whereas tracks like "Combat" and "Xerces" and the others I didn't mention aren't memorable in the slightest. I listened to them so many times, even when I was reviewing this, and I hardly even remember anything about them other than that they're enjoyable enough on a listen-through to not be irritating

When I hear them they're well and good, but they're nothing compared to the tracks I mentioned or the stuff on White PonyThis Message Edited On 10.30.06

October 31st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Brilliant album. Great contrast and variety, which is what makes a good album.

Good to see they are still moving onto new ground while still doing what they do best.

When i first got White Pony (One of my most favorite albums of all time) i can honestly say i was a little uncomfortable with it and felt it was lacking compared to ATF. However, time went by and it grew on me. a lot. and eventually became my favorite. Give it time, this cd will definitely grow with time.

I doubt anyone claimed white pony to top ATF a few days after its release. This review feels like the reception that albums like 10,000 days get. (tool is nu-metal? opinions are funny things aren't they)

Maybe its just me or maybe bands really do get to an 'event horizon' where no matter what they do it will never be better than their 'old stuff'.

October 31st 2006


Awesome review, great album

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