I'm a huge fan of the Deftones. Ever since hearing Adrenaline, introduced to me by some former band mates back-in-the-day, I was hooked. I was even fortunate enough to see them a few times during the Adrenaline days, and they didn't disappoint in a live setting, either.
I became just a little bit detached with their next release, Around the Fur, since it was something of a departure from their new-school hardcore/metalcore influenced debut release. The trend I began seeing, however, was one that took them into much more musically diverse ground, with well layered, guitar-driven pseudo-metal that helped set them apart with their own style, both vocally as well as musically. Soon, they had me hooked once again.
So like I said, I'm a pretty big fan of the band. Even last year's somewhat disappointing but still decent B-Sides and Rarities held a bit of interest, if for no other reason than the accompanying dvd, showcasing all of the band's concept video work. What has come as a slight disappointment, however, with the newly released Saturday Night Wrist, is that what set the Deftones apart has now become their enemy. They sound exactly like they have in past releases, even if it is a bit difficult to pinpoint which one. Immediately evident in the opening tracks, including their first single, "Hole in the Earth", are styles reminiscent of White Pony, as well as their self-titled release from just a few years ago. As the album progresses, you get signature Deftones here
..from the ambient instrumental work on "U, U, D, D, L, R, L, R, A, B, Select, Start", to the methodical droning of "Cherry Waves". They also bring plenty of the aggressiveness the Deftones are known for as well, however, in songs like "Rats! Rats! Rats!", as well as "Combat" and "Kimdracula", perhaps the two best songs on the album.
All in all, Saturday Night Wrist isn't a BAD release. Its downfall is that the band is far too comfortable in their sound, and shows that with this outing. Nonetheless, Deftones' fans should enjoy the album. I would dare say, however, that another release like this could be the beginning of the end for a band who's been going strong for 10 years plus. I certainly hope not, but the danger exists, especially when a band gets passive and doesn't stretch the envelope of what it is truly capable of.