Top 10 – DEFTONES

The Deftones, a band I was late to the party for but love like no other. Their style and their energy fulfill my soul and my mind when I listen to them or see them live. A unique band that reminds me of the good times as well as the bad times. I love their drumming style, their guitar riffs, their bass groove and I absolutely love Chino‘s vocals. I think he has the most amazing range. One song could be a seductive trance, the next song could be a screeching howl; his pitch is unlike anyone’s I’ve ever heard. His highest pitch would make Dani Filth seem weak and muffled at times.

I love the Deftones and it was incredibly hard to do this top 10 list. I tried my hardest to gather these 10 alone and then arrange them into a way I felt seemed fair on several accounts. Whether it’s on a musical level or personal level. Here we go, my top 10 Deftones tracks.

10. Root from Adrenaline

9. Around the Fur from Around the Fur

8. Lhabia from Around the Fur

7. Birthmark from Adrenaline

6. Teenager from White Pony

5. Sextape from Diamond Eyes

4. Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away) from Around the Fur

3. Rx Queen from White Pony

2. Digital Bath from White Pony

1. Knife Party from White Pony

Let’s break down these songs. Root, what’s not to love? That guitar work is phenomenal and the explosion of energy for the chorus is great. My favorite part of the song is at 2:20 when Stephen breaks into that diminishing power chord slide, man. Killer! I love that part. Chino’s vocals are a work of art on this track as well. Even early on when Deftones broke onto the scene, they showed the world what they could do. Next up is Around the Fur : kicking off with that drum beat into a soft vocal style and ripping guitar riff. This is one of those “scream your lungs out in the car while driving to work” songs that pulls me in every single time I hear it. I’m having a hard time not single loudly as I type this! The raw part ending the song beginning at 2:52 is fucking intense. Lhabia is so good, I love the guitar work performed on this track. So simple yet so heavy. The pre-chorus riff is also one of my favorites written by Stephen as well. Lhabia is another song I just want to sing along to at high levels. Well, let’s be honest, I want to do that to every Deftones song, who am I kidding? I love the screaming vocals over the soft vocals during the chorus. Gives me goosebumps at how well they put that together.

Birthmark has one of the coolest introductions of any song on their entire catalog. From the gentle guitar strum into the drumming then the heavy guitar chords. I love how subtle a verse can be and then how it gradually gets heavier and heavier eventually ending with a groove and Chino screaming and spitting into your ears. Teenager is SOOOO GOOOOOOOD. I love how slow and ambient it is. Chino’s voice is so fucking killer and chilling on this song and if you have the correct stereo system, the bass is fucking booming. Sextape is next and even though it’s off of their latest album, Diamond Eyes, it has a special place in my heart along with the rest of the timeless classics that the Deftones has made. This track is deep and special to me. It reminds me of one hell of a night me and my fiance had together in Florida. The guitar noise, the vocals, the drumming and the bass guitar just come together so well and make such a great song. It’s good that the Deftones can come back after a few bunk records and produce a song so powerful that I immediately fall in love with it. Sextape is an incredible track.

Next up is “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” and from beginning to end it’s just an amazing feeling. This is usually what I play when I begin a long roadtrip. The riff with the cool drum beat makes you feel like you’re cruisin’ down the street on a cool summer evening no matter where you truly are. Something simple yet magical about this track that taps into those good nights of being with friends and loved ones, enjoying life and having a great time. I played this song over and over when I drove from Kansas City, MO to Fort Walton Beach, FL. This is also one of those tracks where Chino sounds just amazing. His delivery on the track is so good. Beginning Rx Queen, The bass drum hits and the cymbal crashes with the strike of an oddly tuned snare drum but it works. The bass guitar does the work during the verse, keeping the track subtle and quiet until the chorus. When the energy picks up a little and the guitar comes crashing in.

“Cuz you’re my girl and that’s alright, if you stay with me I won’t mind”.

Next up is another track off of White Pony, Digital Bath. Starting up again with another smooth drum pattern and guitar chord that would put anyone in the mood. It’s my favorite track to sing along to. I love the short but sweet chorus.

“Tonight, I feel like more. Tonight.”

As is always with a track, I have associated it with something within my life and a special someone so it strikes emotions and feelings each and every time I here it. It’s weird, mysterious and romantic in a way.

My favorite Deftones track though is again off of White Pony, which is also my favorite album. Knife Party begins with a simple little chord until the rest of the band joins. That chord continues but the drums and bass add so much more power to it. The verse is simple and quiet again, kicking it up a notch for the pre-chorus and turning up the intensity even more during the chorus. Dark and beautiful, I think the lyrics and the way this song is sung is absolutely breath taking. I’ve gone into a trance many times listening to this song and singing along. I’ve desperately looked for this song at karaoke bars but it never comes up. I think this song is so different, so evolved, so mysteriously sexy…it’s absolutely incredible how a couple of dudes from California could come up with something like this. That bass guitar and guitar work are just so moving it’s unreal.

My knife, it’s sharp and chrome
Come see inside my bones
All the feigns are on the block
I’m the new king, I’ll take the queen
‘Cause in here we are all anemic
In here, anemic is sweet, so

go get your knife, go get your knife
And come in
Go get your knife, go get your knife
And lay down
Go get your knife, go get your knife
Now kiss me

I can float here forever
In this room we can’t touch the floor
In here we’re all anemic
In here, anemic is sweet, so

Go get your knife, go get your knife
And come in
Go get your knife, go get your knife
And lay down
Go get your knife, go get your knife
Now kiss me

Of course, I’ve put together my own personal feelings into this song in some form so it makes it that much better. That’s the majesty of the Deftones though. They create a song with their own interpretation and feelings yet it’s so metaphorical and well said that anyone can put in how they feel, their personal experiences and their own thoughts onto the track as well. Yet, we’re all singing the same lyrics. That’s the beauty of this band. Poetic, that’s the Deftones for you.

On a side note, I didn’t even become a fan of the Deftones until way after they released all of their good stuff. I finally got into them in 2005. White Pony won me over, Around the Fur made me a bigger fan, Adrenaline and a few tracks from the S/T album and SNW made me adore them. The self titled album is a good album, it has some tracks on there that I love. Saturday Night Wrist I loved at first, but the novelty of “Ohh, a new Deftones album” wore off fairly quickly and it came down to me only really liking a couple of songs. Unfortunately, that was Chi Cheng’s last album as he is recovering from a near fatal car crash in 2008. Since the crash, the record they were working on, Eros, was put on hold. Deftones grabbed a bass player and toured a bit, then released Diamond Eyes. This album is actually incredible and I see it as a White Pony meets Around the Fur, just with an 8 string guitar. Stephen’s tuning is low so that the album may seem a little bit different, it’s still the same great Deftones we all know and love.

Well there you have it. My top 10 Deftones tracks. It was really hard to pick out, then once I picked them out it was hard to actually stick with it. Honestly, I love all of their work. Each album is a moment in time for them and for me that brings back memories, good and bad. Much respect for them, their work, their fans and their style. I hope to see them soon in concert and I hope Chi Cheng makes a strong recovery and returns to the stage with them. Here is to a great band who will forever go on as a pioneer of something more than just metal, more than just music.

Cheers.

~Merginator

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