From the first note of Saturday Night Wrist the Deftones live up to their title as one of the most innovative rock bands of recent years. This record is full of the vocals and guitar work that Deftones fans expect along with more experimentation than they might have bargained for.
“Hole in the Earth” and “Cherry Waves” are the best example of the classic Deftones sound on Saturday Night Wrist, embodying the layered guitar of Stephen Carpenter and the emotional voice of Chino Moreno. Aside from those two songs and a few others, the band decided to go in a different direction with this record. Annie Hardy from the Indie band Giant Drag sings and improvises graphically about creepy sex on “Pink Cell Phone.” The art-rock vibe of this song and others could have been pretentious and out of place but the Deftones have credibility as innovators and the experimentation fits perfectly. The Deftones also brought in Serj Tankian from System of a Down to sing on “Mein.” The band changed producers for this record once before production and once mid-production, a move which can either be a recipe for disaster or success. Thankfully, the final result is a standout Deftones record rather than a potential flop.
This record doesn’t leave out the extreme hardcore end of the Deftones either. “Rapture” and “Rats! Rats! Rats!” are reminiscent of tracks on White Pony such as “Elite.” Saturday Night Wrist is a necessary departure from the generic Nu-Metal sound of The Deftones (2003) and the band clearly has more lifespan than many might have predicted for them in the post-Korn era. The Deftones are brilliant and Saturday Night Wrist should not be passed over as “just another Nu-Metal” release.