April 7, 2016


Every Deftones Album, Ranked

Frank Maddocks
Frank Maddocks

Friday (Apr. 8) marks the release of Gore, a brand new album from Sacramento alternative metal lifers Deftones and their first since 2012’s Koi No Yokan and the 2013 passing of original bassist Chi Cheng. It is very good, a precarious mix of familiar sounds and avenues we might not have expected the band to pursue, and the eighth consecutive success from a band that seems incapable of making a bad album.

Because Deftones’ on-record batting average is so great, we’re taking on the gargantuan task of ranking each of the proper studio albums (and the serviceable B-Sides & Rarities compilation, but not the Record Store Day Covers one, since it rehashes much of the same material) once and for all. Remember, the rankings don’t mean any of these is a bad album; some are just demonstrably better than others.

#1B-Sides & Rarities

The loosies and covers album B-Sides & Rarities is the one where we learn that all the latent romantic vibes and Morrissey-an depressiveness that singer Chino Moreno exudes are not coincidence but veiled tribute. The cover of the Cure’s “If Only Tonight We Can Sleep” was a genius pairing in a night full of them, and of course this band does a killer Duran Duran (“The Chauffeur”). Where B-Sides really shines is in the outliers—a shipwrecked “Ordinary Love,” a reverent “Simple Man.” Not everything is essential: their “Savory” works principally because “Savory” itself is unimpeachable, and the plodding alternate versions of White Pony’s “Digital Bath” and “Teenager” are cautionary tales about leaving well enough alone.

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