Sunday, November 5, 2017

Deftones Around The Fur (1997) Review

Deftones "Around The Fur" 1997 LP Cover
I didn’t hear Deftones “Adrenaline” when it was released in 1995. I was only 12 years old at the time. I didn’t hear “Around The Fur” in 1997 either. I didn’t get to hear the band until they released “White Pony” which was years later. The marketing campaign for “White Pony” was huge. I remember there were stickers all over Santa Monica, and if you cruised Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, you saw giant ads for their upcoming release. That record is one of my favorites for a variety of reasons. However, I wanted to go back to 1997 today, because it was a pivotal year for me in terms of music, and pro wrestling. I’m a big fan of pro-wrestling, as exhibited from my lackluster wrestling blog located here.

Nu Metal? What Is Nu Metal?

I never liked the name Nu Metal. I didn’t think that “Around The Fur” was that. Deftones have been called a lot of names and genres to describe the music they put out. However, I have always called them alternative rock. They don’t fit into a box, and they have elements of hardcore, metal, groove, funk, and much more to create their lavish sound. Heck, I would even say that they put on a shoegaze type of guitar, and they don’t have multiple guitarists, it’s just one guy on most tracks, with Chino Moreno jumping in sometimes to play lead or solos. “Around The Fur” is not NU Metal, despite what you may hear, because it’s not at all. Plus, it was 1997 when it was released, and the moniker wasn’t exactly “new” at that time.

42 Minutes of Vinyl Pops and Hisses From Deftones

There’s a spectacular production value found on this record. I do not know how much it cost, but the band recorded an incredible sophomore release if you ask me. They matured from what they were doing on “Adrenaline” and honed their guitar work and drums to all new levels. The drums are great on the record, and while it’s guitar driven for the most part, Chino’s vocals are excellent companions to the incredible wall of rock and roll you get from the distorted drums and additional personnel bringing across a great deal of the sound. With the singles “My Own Summer (Shove It)”, “Around The Fur”, and “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)”, you rounded out 3 melodic alternative rock gems you didn’t hear anyone else at the time putting out. It would be 3 years after this release that the band would get to my stereo, but as I listen to this record back, I’m impressed with the fidelity and recording.

A New Wave and Shoegaze Defining Moment

While the band didn’t really set out to release a record of defining rock, they managed to create something that no other band was doing. The only comparison I can draw is Third Root which was on Solid State Records, but they didn’t have the signature Chino Moreno drops and heights. Although they did manage to release a nice record with similar themes as “Around The Fur”. There is a new wave sensibility to the additional personnel on the record, and of course the lyrical elements are similar to The Cure at times. All good in my book, but you’ll denote that there’s melancholy throughout the lyrical elements. The shoegaze guitar work mirrored with hardcore influences and stellar bass and drums really makes this a worthwhile release for fans of heavy music.

I give Deftones “Around The Fur” (1997) 5 Stars out of 5.

As a fan, the preferred purchase of this record is on vinyl. You can buy it by clicking here, and getting it it in the mail. I’d spend a little more for the Japanese import as I hear it’s a bit denser of wax, but you can easily find a 180 gram version here.

Do you like Deftones? Have any cool memories of this record? Drop me a line in the comments and let me know what you think of “Around The Fur”.

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