Deftones released this B-sides collection after Deftones. It contains mostly covers. They also later released an album called Covers which has all of these covers and some new ones. Covers was released on Record Store Day and is really hard to get now. The covers that are extra to that CD are: “Drive” (originally by The Cars), “Caress” (originally by Drive Like Jehu), “Do You Believe” (originally by The Cardigans), “Ghosts” (originally by Japan) and “Sleep Walk” (originally by Santo & Johnny). Despite those interesting songs, B-Sides and Rarities is no slouch.
“Savory” is a cover of a song by Jawbox. Chino’s voice sounds so utterly different here, I completely don’t recognize him. It’s not the most impressive start to the collection as even after a lot of listens the song still hasn’t really stuck for me, but it’s also one of the few songs I didn’t know beforehand. (It turns out the cover was actually by the band Far (with the members of Deftones playing as well)). But it was the Cocteau Twins cover that really blew me away. The Cocteau Twins, an ethereal lighter than air band get a very respectful treatment here. “Wax and Wane” has a pretty heavy bass line which Chi produces (with cool effects on it), and while Chino doesn’t try to ape Elizabeth’s Fraser’s voice, he does a great job in her register (how he figured out the words, I can’t imagine). Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Kind of Man” gets the Deftones treatment with whispered/creepy vocals in the first verse and a big loud chorus. The cover of Helmet’s “Sinatra” is very heavy (I don’t know the original but I know other Helmet songs) but it doesn’t sound quite like Helmet–a perfect Deftones take on the band, with very low tuned bass strings. The second biggest surprise comes from their cover of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love.” I don’t know the original, but I do know about Sade and this song keeps all of the funky bass and the slinky sexiness of a typical Sade song. But it adds an interesting slightly sinister vibe that really makes the song stand out.
The band performs a great spooky gothy cover of The Cure’s “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep” (at what I gather is a live tribute show) complete with that weird Middle Eastern sounding guitar and the cool splash cymbal. It’s followed by a great cover of The Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” and he does a surprisingly good Morrissey. Their cover of Duran Durans “The Chauffeur” was the first cover that I had heard by the band and it was the first time I thought about how cool a Duran Duran song could sound: win-win.
There are some reinterpretations of Deftones originals as well. “Change (In the House of Flies)” works very well in the acoustic format–sounding somehow more dramatic. “Teenager” has a trippy Twin Peaks vibe when it opens. This is the “Idiot Version” with guys from Idiot Pilot joining the Deftones. It doesn’t sound all that different from the version on White Pony and yet I really didn’t recognize it out of context. “Crenshaw Punch/I’ll Throw Rocks at You” is the heaviest thing on the album, with loud abrasive guitars. It was a B-Side from Around the Fur. My least favorite track is “Black Moon” which is a sung by B-Real from Cypress Hill. I liked Cypress Hill a lot back in the day, but there’s something unsatisfying about this pairing–or maybe it’s just that this songs really sticks out on the disc. The acoustic “Digital Bath” is trippy and very cool–it’s amazing when they strip down their songs, which are usually so abrasive and heavy and they still manage to sound great. “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” is another acoustic piece with a remix by DJ Crook.
More than just a stop gap or a collection of misfit tracks, this is a really cohesive Deftones album and actually a great place to start for people trying to ease their way into the band.
[READ: March 3, 2013] “Summer of ’38”
This story is about Montse. Montse is an old woman with three children. Her husband died some time ago and she is by herself. Her daughters come to visit her but she doesn’t like to be a bother to them. On this occasion, her daughter Ana says that she met a man who is writing a book about the war and he would like to talk to Montse to see if she has any recollections of the time (she was a teenager in 1938).
Montse doesn’t want to talk to the man, she says she won’t remember anything and why doesn’t he write the book without her. But the man arrives anyway. When he asks her questions, she says she knows nothing about the war. But he says that a retired general (for Franco) is coming to their town to show the writer war locations. The general says he remembers Montse’s name and would like to meet with her. His name is Rudolfo Ramirez. She says she barely remembers him and that maybe she’s even thinking of someone else.
The writer says it’s not a big deal but is she would like to meet with him he will be at the cafe on Saturday for a casual lunch. She gives a reluctant maybe and the writer leaves.
Then the story flashes back to when Montse knew Rudolfo. He was a handsome soldier, she was a young girl and they began surreptitiously seeing each other Until he moved on and left her with a child.
And from there the story continues with how Montse dealt with the situation: by trying to get a local man to marry her. Specifically she tries to get the man who had been chasing her for years, even though she always made no bones about her distaste for him. But he would be better than the shame of an unplanned pregnancy. As the pieces of Montse’s life fall more into place the story becomes more and more compelling.
On that Saturday when she could be going to meet for lunch, she invites her oldest daughter Rosa over. She shows Rosa pictures of the old days–it’s clear the girls knew nothing of the solider. And the story ends with so much told and yet so much still up in the air (but in a very good way). I really liked this story. The ending made perfect sense for the story, even though I think ever reader was secretly hoping for a different ending.