Okay, so let's talk about ass-kicking albums of the mid-'90's. Ready? Have a seat.
Well, I'm fanatically convinced that angst in music won't ever die. It'll always be around, but it seems that every now and then it's in the "mainstream," but not all the time. Lately, bands like Default, Drowning Pool, Mudvayne and others have held the entire market of loud, occasionally-screaming-occasionally-singing music. There are plenty of others, I'm sure (think I'm lying? Go ahead and read the lyrics to some Limp Bizkit music; you'll quickly grasp what I'm talking about). Bands like Nirvana and Alice In Chains are great examples of angst-ridden music that captured mainstream attention. There was a small lull after Kurt Cobain killed himself; I'm thinking of the talented-but-bland bands like Collective Soul now. They grabbed everyone's attention for a little while.
A little while later--like a year or two, or three--bands like White Zombie, Korn, and Marilyn Manson arrived, and there was lots of screaming and teen angst to their lyrics. Korn's self-titled album garnered some huge sales, and we all know what happened with Marilyn Manson; again, huge popularity.
In 1995, the Deftones--friends of Korn, coincidentally--released their debut album, Adrenaline, under the Maverick Records label, which Madonna owns (?!?!). It wasn't a smashing debut, but a debut nonetheless; it wasn't long before the first single, 7 Words, was released, with an accompanying low-budget music video. Shortly thereafter, a video for Bored came out, to equally indifferent praise.
Adrenaline is a fine album, though. The songs fit together well, make for a good listen. There is only one genuine dud on this album: Lifter, track five. It doesn't have much of anything going for it. Now, I wouldn't go out and buy this one, if you're not into heavy music. Because that's what this is. It's a fairly unique mix of emotional metal and funk-infused punk. Terry Date's production of the album (aside from hidden track Fist, which I'll get to shortly) offered up a remarkably loose tone to the album, almost as if all the songs are live recordings. Combine with this the immense talent of guitar player Steve Carpenter and the looseness and freeform feel of Abe Cunningham's drums, and you've got one hell of an album.
This album has now sold more than one million albums worldwide.
Bored is an excellent way to start this album. There isn't a great deal of singer Chino Moreno's screaming, and it's a dark, melodic tune with a simple beat. This is the song the Deftones are probably most frequently associated with.
Minus Blindfold has some fairly interesting guitar work to it. There's quite a bit of screaming in this song as well, but it starts off proportionately quiet, so it compliments Bored nicely.
One Weak is one of the more forgotten songs on this album, despite the precision and relative complexity of the guitar, and the funky bass.
Nosebleed is very loud, a great song to listen to with plenty of bass and plenty of volume.
Lifter: I have nothing good to say about this song; it's very bland.
Root is without a doubt my favourite song on this fine album. The riff at the beginning, which carries on through the majority of the song is catchy, fast, and heavy. Fast, and with just enough screaming to make it interesting and not sickening, this is the one that caught my attention.
7 Words: despite the fact that this was the first single released on the album, I find myself indifferent to it. It's very simple, but repetitive as hell because of it. Still, it's a nice one to listen to now and then. Beyond that, I'm biased because of nostalgia surrounding it.
Birthmark is another one that has excellent guitar work (check out that riff going on about 40 seconds in), but somewhat boring.
Engine No. 9 has a very catchy riff at the beginning, and is perhaps the simplest song on the album to play, if you're a guitar player. There's a few little mixes thrown in for fun, too, like random noise and whatnot.
Fireal: what is it about the end of the album? Must everyone using this end for the most "experimental" songs? Fireal is definitely neat, but it could have done with some trimming down. This is a song that a listener would turn on about once every year.
The hidden track, Fist, I don't have much to say about; if you combined Lifter and Fireal, this is what you'd get.