- My Own Summer (Shove It)li>
- Around the Fur
- Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
- Dai the Flu
Around the Fur is the Deftones' second album released in 1997 through Maverick Records/Warner Brothers. The sound is a definite progression from debut album Adrenaline's garage metal feel. Noticably, there is a de-emphesis on the rap influences in their music despite the fact that the album came just at the time rap-metal was about to become big. Terry Date's production of the band has also become grander with Chino Moreno's vocals gaining the distictive ethereal, layered whisper/croon effect that would become his trademark.
DJ Frank Delgado contributes layers of samples, effects and atmospherics to the sound on a few songs but he would not be listed as a permanant member till White Pony. I consider White Pony to be a superior album but around the fur is of a quite different style, much harder and heavier. Although still showing the subtlety that seperates the Deftones from their alternative rock peers.
My Own Summer (Shove It)
"Hey you/big star/tell me when its over..." A winding electo-static riff opens the album. Chino croons seductively before launching into the throat ripping scream: "Come/shove/the sun/Aside!" This was the first single off the album and is undoubtably one of its highlights. The video for this song showed the band playing an a raft on a beautiful, but shark infested lake. It's easy to see how this image came about, the feel is lazy and serene but punctuated by moments of bloody violence.
A bit of a letdown after "My own Summer" really. It moves along at a good pace and keeps up the energy set from the opening track but it is overall pretty forgetable.
Like I say, Lhabia is one of my least favourite tracks. But its placement in the album is very well done. After two high energy songs the volume suddenly drops to a whisper for "Mascara". There is a feeling of exhaustion here, of something being not quite right, For the first time the guitar is undistorted and suddenly sounds very fragile. In the background there is the hum of poorly shielded equipment, during live sets this is replaced by a sample of an an untuned piano tapping out broken chords.
The chorus sounds like it would be soaring and triumphant but Chino sounds voice sounds strained and tired. He croons to a mystery girl about love, longing, boredom and irritation until the song comes down to the tiniest of whispers and he delivers the puchline: The girl is his wife. Clang go the guitars in response.
One of the standout tracks.
Around the Fur
After "Mascara" collapes into feedback an anxious drumbeat picks up the pace for the title track. We are back into familiar territory here, melodic verses and huge screaming choruses. The lyrics throughout this album are cryptic, but here they cross into just plain weird: "SPEAK!/I dont get it!/Should I ignore the fashion or go buy the book?"
"It's so simple to look at every little thing I do wrong/It's so simple to overlook every little thing I do right/I think too much/I feed too much/I'm gone too much/I skate too much/I starve too much..." One of the heaviest and aggressive songs on the album, second only to "Headup". The opening riff hits you like a train, one that starts to go off the rails towards the end and turns into a wailing, screaching guitar track that keeps screaming while the rest of the band is silent, a moment of suspence before impact happens and every instrument kicks in again at full force.
Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)
I wont say much about this one as I have already written a node about it. It's the second single off the album and my favourite track on it.
As a guitarist Stef Carpinter is very much a minimalist. Over the course of their early recordings to their later albums his style seems to devolve as he tries to achieve more with less. His style seems mainly defined by what he avoids playing: no solos, nothing that ever sounds even slightly bluesy, and an emphesis on texture rather than melody.
Lotion demonstrates well what his style is about, hard robotic riffs and blasts of atonal sound. The vocals are quite strange on this one, its a stream of conciousness rap with lyrics that dont make a lot of sense: "I meant!/Suck'em/To come back to put out bliss/But the style is crumbling covered canned/It was sick and now you don't even know how/It comes shifts then gets ruined by you fucking slobs"
Dai the Flu
I dont find this song as polished and complete sounding as most of the other songs. Overall it sounds like the leftovers made from the ideas used throughout the rest of the album, without a solid enough song as backbone: Whispered verses, soaring chorus', shots of alien guitar, all used to much better effect on other songs. It has its merits though, the energy put into middle eight makes e want to listen to it just for that part. The verse guitar is quite interesting as well, Carpinter is simply switching on all his effects at once and letting the instrument feedback.
This song features Max Cavalera from Sepultura matching screams with Chino: "With attitude will and some spirit/With attitude, will and your spirit/We'll shove it aside/Soulfly!/Fly High!/Soulfly!/Fly Free!" (You can see where Max got the name for his next band) When they perform this live the band quite often get a fan onstage to sing(scream) Max's vocal parts.
The guitars are still loud and grinding, but this is a definate drop in intensity. Chino gets to trade lines with a sampled female vocal in the style of a phone conversation:
"Let me think"
(Think about what?)
(And what else)
"And money/And new clothes"
(And what do I get?)
"Thirty nights..." (uh-huh?)
"...of violence..." (yeah)
"And sugar, to love..."
The mood is dreamy and laid back, a perfect way to end the album. But it's not quite the end...
Fast forward to 32:35 and we get a hidden track. Its one of the better ones on the album so its a shame you have to hold down the scan button for a minute every time you want to hear it. Its the mixture of heavy guitar, screaming and crooned seductive vocals you should now be well familiar with. "This feeling gets old/
And so do your eyes/
This is why/I hate you/cause...