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.

Track Listing

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.

The winter I turned six, I was in my first car accident. Along Anderson Valley Way, our bus driver, a notoriously cranky and frightening man, whipped around in his seat, yelling “Shut up!” The bus veered into a long patch of mud beside the Johnson farm. The bus slid and flipped onto its side into the pasture. The bank of windows that hit the ground split, and mud oozed in through the broken glass. As I crawled out of the back window, I felt a flash of pride. My cousin Luis, four years older, had helped to pry open the emergency exit, and I thought myself famous by proximity. The biggest kids pulled the smallest out of the mud, onto the cracked concrete of the road.

In the cafeteria, the school secretary passed out raisins and peanuts, and one of the teachers took our statements. “I lost my shoe.” “My lunchbox is broken.” “My arm hurts.” Another teacher read what was intended to be a soothing story. “And what do you think happened next?” She turned the page. When it was my turn to speak to the record-keeper, I said, “My shoe is muddy. I lost my homework.”

At home, my mother sent me to the room I shared with Laura to change out of my muddy clothes. As I opened the bureau drawer, I felt for the first time my heart fluttering, hard and loud.


She stood at the door. “What’s the matter?”

“My heart is beating too fast.”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s from adrenaline. When you’re in a dangerous situation, your body responds by making you really strong and really fast. Adrenaline makes people able to do things that they couldn’t normally do.”

I shook as I shed my dirty jeans and pulled on my favorite corduroys. I didn’t need to be strong or fast. My mind had slowed but my heart kept rushing.

The adrenaline lingered, kicking in from time to time over the next few months. Each time I waited for what would happen next. My heart raced in anticipation, though I did not know for what. The feeling would pass, but I couldn’t shake my sense of dread.

from The Book of Revelation

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Ad*re"nal*ine (?), n. Also Ad*re"nal*in (&?;). (Physiol. Chem.)

A crystalline substance, C9H13O3N, obtained from suprarenal extract, of which it is regarded as the active principle. It is used in medicine as a stimulant and hemostatic.


© Webster 1913

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