I had forgotten how much I loved this album when it came out. It’s been a while since I listened to it but it still sounds great. I remembered thinking Around the Fur was the album that blew me away but it proved to be White Pony. I have the “limited edition” red cover for whatever that’s worth (not much really, although I did get a bonus song). This album really explores their more alternative side, with quiet guitars and very non-metal sounding songs including some trip-hop drums on a track. But there are three or four really heavy songs showing they’re not giving up their heavy roots by any means. It’s a really accomplished and complex album and is definitely a high point in alt-rock.
The album starts with “Fieticeira” which has a cool alt guitar sound (Stephen Carpenter really displays an amazing range on this album) and some lurching verses. The choruses get big and loud (in the way that the Foo Fighters do now), although there is a weird noisy section that keeps it from being a totally polished track. “Digital Bath” is a dark creepy song where the guitars are nearly as menacing as Chino Moreno’s whispered voice. The drums are actually the loudest instrument and you can hear how intricate the Deftones drumming can be. I haven’t mentioned the other members in the other two write ups and shame on me. Abe Cunningham’s drumming is great–far beyond most metal drummers. But when the bridge kicks in the song lifts up and by the chorus it’s a big vocalled song. “Elite” shows that the Deftones haven’t given up their heavy side–it’s a loud screaming distorted fast thrasher. It never lets up and by the end the voice is distorted almost beyond human sounds. “RX Bath” is one of my favorite songs on the disc. It’s slow but with a cool slinky bass (Chi Cheng, always outstanding). “Street Carp” is a short song–with loud guitars for the verses and a creepy slow chorus that I’ve always loved: “Here’s my new address…six six four oh I forget.”
“Teenager” is the biggest surprise it has a slow acoustic guitars and a kind of trip hop drum beat with glitchy effects. It’s followed by “Knife Party” a song that opens with flanged guitars until the big chords crash in. It’s probably their most commercial sounding song yet, except when after the second chorus Rodleen Getsic starts singing a wild vocal solo (like a crazed version of Pink Floyd’s “Great Gig in the Sky”), some of the notes she hits are inhuman. “Korea” returns to the heavy dropped D sound with big noisy guitars and screams. It’s one of their mist abrasive tracks.
“Passenger” is one of two songs that’s over 6 minutes long. It’s a duet with Maynard from Tool–it’s unusual how their voices are so similar They don’t sound alike but they have that same wavery tenor and vulnerability It’s a perfect match. “Change (In the House of Flies)” starts as a slow slinky song with a big chorus (and a great chorus of Ah ahs which somehow make the song seem even more claustrophobic. It proves to be surprisingly catchy. “Pink Maggit” ends the disc proper with a beautifully, agonizingly slow guitar and vocal intro–the guitars are buzzy and slow and sound almost out of tune (but aren’t). Chino’s voice strains itself before the song proper starts. I love songs like this when the chorus does one thing and the vocals play a slightly different melody (as if he;s singing a minor note and the guitars are playing a major note), it’s very cool and a little spine tingly. At seven minutes this is a wonderfully claustrophobic alt rocker. The album ends with what sounds like a heart beat (again, another Pink Floyd nod).
The red version has a bonus track called “The Boy’s Republic,” a big heavy song that encapsulates a lot of the album down into one track–the great vocal/guitar interplay, swelling chorus and interesting interplay of the instruments. Even though it’s clearly a bonus song (you don’t have a song that ends with a slow heartbeat and not have it actually end your album), it fits in perfectly with the set and is a real treat.
Even though this album is 13 years old it still sounds fresh and amazing. It really is a masterpiece.
[READ: February 25, 2013] “So Who Could I Tell the Story To”
According to Harper’s this is an excerpt from City of Angels: Or, the Overcoat of Dr. Freud. It was translated by Damion Searls.
The excerpt begins in the middle of a question: “–the story that now needed to be told, even though it wasn’t a story at all?” A very strange opening to be sure, and not as compelling as one might want. And that was how I felt about this whole thing. I wanted to be more excited by it but I never was.
There was something confusing about the whole setup. The narrator is talking to Francesco. But the narrator is talking about and apparently to “you.” So there are lots of you’s floating around but we also know she’s talking to someone. And while it’s all about clandestine behavior, the whole proceeding was confusing.
The narrator shows Francesco a fax with her name and the initials IM: informal collaborator (an automatically guilty sentence . And she tells the story (again, about you) to Francesco. Now I got confused as to who the you was (and I may have tried harder if I was more interested). On a second read, it made a bit more sense, but was still very convoluted, with both “you” and the narrator doing the same steps in the government office to retrieve information about who was spying on them.
By the end I just didn’t care. However, the final paragraph in which the narrator explains why she can now talk about this important piece of paper was kind of interesting. But it in no way makes me want to read the rest of the story. I don’t know if this excerpt does the story injustice or if maybe with a little more information the excerpt would be compelling but as it stood it was a lot of intrigue but not covering up anything I wanted to see.