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Love at 1st Listen: Our Metal Chick Hearts Deftones New LP

Mass Appeal’s  resident rock and metal chick Zeena Koda digs the Deftones’ music. You don’t understand, she really, really, digs the Deftones and their latest offering Koi No Yokan, so we gave her some space to tell us why.–Editor

Considering the copious amounts of time I’ve spent with the Deftones’ catalog, I should be married to it with kids already. In way maybe they have impregnated me with mini Chino Moreno-inspired offspring because it always finds a way to my musical surface. It is rare that a band takes a journey with you from childhood to adulthood and still has the same grip that it initially held you by. What is it about this magical band that has grown with me and multitudes of my peers? How is it that other bands like Korn and various other artifacts of the ’90s nu-metal boom remain scrutinized yet the Deftones generally remain unscathed? One thought always comes to mind–classic.

For music to be everlasting and “classic” it needs to be classy, succinct and most importantly personally relevant. All of these things fortunately for me and the adoring masses, are qualities every Deftones tune oozes like a sexually volatile relationship for the ear. Unlike some of their counterparts, the band always possessed a musically adventurous and diverse spirit. Initially speckled across Adrenaline, honed in on Around the Fur, creatively expanded and mainstream packaged on White Pony and meticulously tweaked on the self-titled and Saturday Night Wrist albums.  Renewed and restructured after a very public band tragedy, Deftones began to zero in on a maturated version of themselves which was endearingly displayed with Diamond Eyes and now stunningly perfected with Koi No Yokan, which was released today.

The Deftones are known for their effortless ability to seamlessly weave the variety of musical influences they infuse together like no one else. In today’s more musically integrated world, where genres are much less segregated than in their formative years, Deftones are pioneers of fusion and cross-pollination. The quality of Chino’s voice has always been one up for debate, its patina lies in the unique sense of melody and spaciness he brings to ripping riffs and head nod inducing hip-hop beats. You want to dance, you want to cry. Bang your head, or tear your clothes off. That precious dichotomy and melting pot of influence is what makes their newer content so necessary to any collection. With Koi No Yokan tracks like “Entombed” evoke the romantic connection that they have become known for, while letting powerhouse tracks like “Leathers” boom on the heavier side.

The bass presence of Sergio Vega, who also has had a busy year reconnecting with his original band Quicksand, is highly refined on this album. Whether it’s a case of worship and praise, some Quicksand-ish rhythmic patterns pop up throughout and manifest themselves in incredible little nuggets that you’ll discover a few listens in. After years of being an avid fan I have also concluded that Deftones have found a great deal of international success and ethnic connectivity because of the diversity within the band, resulting  in such niche product that lovers wear it with pride. It is that musical element, unexplainable coolness and relation, that allows a band to become classic and travel with you through this lifetime of emotional ups and downs. Koi No Yokan has the carved path into phase 2.0 for both the Deftones and myself.

Purchase Koi No Yokan on iTunes today.

BONUS: Zeena’s top three Deftones show experiences:
• Sitting front row for an arena show, Seat 102, Row A. Chino sang to me, literally. It was like my 15-year-old wet dream come true.
• Taking my first road trip to see the band at 16. I traveled all the way to Rochester, NY to see GlassJaw (another grossly underrated band) and the Deftones play on both of their widely revered classic albums and was blown away.
• A fine Jersey moment when my ex-boyfriend decided to jump off the balcony of the Roseland Ballroom in NYC to “be closer to Chino,” needless to stay he was heavily intoxicated and couldn’t walk for months. Jersey’s finest, at least he had good taste in music.

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