Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Koi YES Yokan

Ok So...
Here is the list of the best American Bands:
1 The Doors
2 Ramones
3 Deftones
4 Nirvana
5 Beastie Boys

You can disagree with me all you want--but this is a solid list, you can't disagree that all of these bands have melted two or more forms of specific music and blended it together.

I'm serious about that number 3 pick. That first one is out of respect. John Densmore, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and James Douglas Morrison, a man I have met in person--those cats invented the American notion of Rock and Roll. Fuck The Byrds and The Beach Boys and Buddy Holly. And while we're at it, fuck The Crossroads dude!

There was no rebellion in Rock before that. Morrison was part lounge crooner, part prophet for the tune-in-turn-on-drop-out generation. His echoes remain a strong influence on the young and the old. His picture is more synonymous with rock and roll than Elvis ever was. Doors brought darkness to the flower power generation. Morrison was warning those kids of the 1970's. And he was right.

And the Ramones invented Punk Rock...

But the Deftones are a true influence to me. They helped shape my life, in the most literal sense of the word. I moved to Sacto because of them. I loved Around the Fur that much. Isn't that a true-blue California notion, go to a school because your favorite band is from there? That album spoke to me in ways I cannot explain to this day. That album grounded me.

Two and a half years later, I was living in Sacramento for over a year and White Pony (my #1 College Album and the first thing I ever downloaded on Napster--sorry Chino!) I still bought that and every album the band has put out since.

That habit will not change, for Koi No Yokan  is one of the best love albums ever recorded.

If you love Slayer, Depeche Mode, Jawbox, Metallica, Deadsy, Soundgarden, System of a Down, The Cure, Snoop Dogg, Interpol, Duran Duran, Tool, Fugazi, Korn, Joy Division, The Smiths, Radiohead, Far, Smashing Pumpkins, Limp Bizkit, Incubus or Bad Brains--there is a chance the Deftones will win your heart. They are 40% Metal, 30% Shoegaze, 20% Dream Pop, 10% Trip Hop.

You see, I consider myself one of the best amateur Deftones biographer (see: Stalker Guttersnipe) and think about this excellent band as two parts of the same half. The first half released 5 albums. This first incarnation of this band tragically died when Chi Cheng was in a car accident.

The good news is that the Bassist is still alive. The bad news, he can't play bass. And Terry Date didn't record an album in 2012.

Enter bassist Sergio Vega and producer Nick Raskulinecz. Enter Deftones 2.0: A well-oiled metal machine, looking to go into another realm once again.

Koi No Yokan is a perfect album for a perfect time. We all need a little hope. This usually gloomy band has made their most upbeat to date. People will cherish this like Loveless or Reign in Blood someday. But until then, swing your head to the beat of "Goon Squad"--their most well-crafted song to date. It has everything that makes these fuckers perfect. It builds a rising sound a'la Pink Floyd--melody, darkness, ambient sounds, buzzsaw hooks, samples, spellbinding lyrics and chorus, a Quicksand-esque low end and Abe Cunningham's caffeine beats. It is an American treasure--a torch to the other side of our collective darkness, reminding us, "there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the good news is that it's an oncoming train."

Notable Tracks: Goon Squad, Entombed, Poltergeist, Romantic Dreams.

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