This Sunday, after seven years of not seeing one of my favorite bands, the wait is over. I’m beyond excited, and to celebrate today I present the Top Ten Deftones songs. Enjoy!
10. Hexagram, Deftones
After the colossal success that was “White Pony” no one quite knew what to expect. What we got, though, was a thoughtful, aggressive yet sincere album. The self titled album isn’t the masterstroke that WP was, but it has some of my favorite moments ever from the Sacto group. Album opener “Hexagram,” which start our countdown of the Top Ten Best Deftones songs, has everything you love about the band, albeit with a little more polish. It’s thrashing musically, and with Moreno screeching his ways through the chorus, it’s the perfect way to start the record, and the countdown for that matter.
9. Rickets, Around the Fur
Angry Deftones song, or Angriest Deftones song? It's not really that important. What is it important is the placement of this song on the album. It comes at a point where most heavy album take a little break, but this song just keeps it coming. On an album that seems defiant on being even remotely mellow, even this song bristles with fury and meticulous heaviness. For all intents and purposes, Around the Fur doesn't let you get comfortable for the forty-five minutes it's occurring. You can feel the resentment and rancor in his voice, particularly when screaming " You're probably right, but I'm stubborn and don't wanna listen."
8. Leathers, Koi No Yokan
The opening forebodes something dark is on the way, but until it hits you can't be sure. Then it begins. The vocals sweeping in and out are just awesome and balls out, all the way to the mountain. I'm not even sure what the song is about, but it might as well be about showing the vocal range of Chino Moreno. That's what makes him such an amazing singer. He can do it all. There are a few people who come to mind when I think of vocalists using their voices as instruments: Mike Patton, and Maynard come to mind, and Chino. It's a small list for sure. It is a sad song though. Maybe the person in the song is leaving his world behind? " Cutting your ties, now and forever " seems to indicate this. Number eight on the top ten Deftones songs, “Leathers.”
7. Teenager, White Pony
This song always felt like it should be in Blade Runner to me. One of their most beautiful songs, I can picture Rachel( Sean Young in the film) looking out of a window into the dystopian world, rain running down the windows. It all just makes sense to me. Particularly interesting is the contrast you see among this song when put up against their earlier albums. The growth and measure they use is phenomenal. Seeing them on the White Pony tour, and choosing this as the closing song, was breathe taking; Chino and Frank Delgado, the only two people on stage, wrapping up their performance. Even the line " I'm through with the new you" sounds like a Blade Runner reference. Also, I’ve met people who hate the band but loves this song. That's saying something.
6. Bored, Adrenaline
For many, the first taste we ever got of the band, and what a taste it was. This song is still so good so many years after because at least for me, it’s a reminder of how far they’ve come as a band, and how far I’ve come. I love the song so much because of how much not only I have changed, but the band also. “Bored” opens with an agro chord of midtempo guitar, while Chino whispers and occasionally crescendos in glorious fashion. It’s no wonder people took notice of them. The song is a wonderful reminder of their beginnings, and also of how far they’ve come.
Another video that perfectly fits with the song. Playing in the desert, as the sun comes up in the horizon. One of their more romantic songs, but it's able to be beautiful and thoughtful while still being on the heavier side. The track has a nice middle groove to it, and thanks to Chi Cheng, it really makes the song what it is. It's a song of strong contemplation, and also celebrating the loves in life. They aren't always easy, but nothing important is. Ultimately, it's a song about celebrating life and living every day as a positive. It's a shame this song doesn't get more acknowledgement, because it deserves it.
4. Swerve City, Koi No Yokan
A song that bounces and makes you want to rock will nearly always get my attention, especially if done correctly. This track is no exception. The opening immediately sets the pace for the remainder of the track, and the overall technique used by the band plays out brilliantly. The guitars shimmer in the way only Carpenter can pull off, while Abe’s drumming is secretly killing it. The real secret recipe though is Chino’s voice and how he wails and lifts himself over the music countless times and makes the song even more gorgeously heavy and epic. .
3. 7 Words, Adrenaline
A long time fan favorite, and a staple at most concerts. “7 Words” hums electrically over the first verse, and with Chino spitting lyrics out just under the mix, you can feel something bubbling with anticipation. Then the chorus comes and it’s an all out blast of energy, from both Moreno and Carpenter on guitars. Much of the power of the song comes from Stephen’s guitar, and it’s clear even from the debut record this band wasn’t just a fad. This album is nestled in the aftermath and happy death of the “Nu Metal” movement, but this and the follow up album prove just how much better they always were then all of the other bands.
2. Be Quiet and Drive(Far Away), Around the Fur
Best opening of any song they've made. To say it set’s the audience and/or listener to rock out is an understatement.The groove of the song just makes you bounce. This is always a favorite when played live. The video is great too. Performance video's can be tricky. The song has to be right, and the location has to be right. This pulls it off. The choice of the warehouse was spot on. After all these years I'm still not sure if the song if from any one viewpoint, but I tend to think it is. This dude wants this person to get him far away, from something. He's clearly done with whatever life he's attempting to leave. The pain in his voice as the song concludes proves that time and time again. One of the best songs they ever produced, BQAD finds our list at number two.
1. Passenger, White Pony
This really should come as no surprise. Obviously the song featuring someone from another band in my top five all time bands would be number one. I'm surprised how many people don't pick up on the connection between this song and Be Quiet and Drive to be honest. To me it seems obvious. I can't help but think it's a companion piece. Maybe this song is from the point of view of the other person in the car, the Passenger if you will. I'm sure it's not meant to be a storyline, but two songs on back to back albums about the explorations of driving, even if figuratively? Seems a little bit too obvious to ignore. Anyway, the imagery in use here is amazing. They perfectly capture what's happening in the song. From beginning to end, it's just an incredible ride. I wish the Deftones were more of the band to try frequent collaborations, but this set the bar pretty damn high. Best Deftones song. Period. Thanks for reading, see you Monday
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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