Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dark Suites Music Reviews

Deftones: Diamond Eyes (2010)
Review written by Steven M. Duarte

The Deftones have gone through a lot since they last released Saturday Night Wrist in 2006. They were originally working on a concept album titled Eros. They had a majority of the work done on the album before tragedy struck the band. The bands bassist Chi Cheng was in an automobile accident which left him near death. At the time his status was unknown and the band went on a short hiatus. This occurred in 2008 and while Cheng is still comatose his condition is considered to be stable. The band felt that they could not use what was created with Eros and decided to start on new material. Thus we now have Diamond Eyes with former Quicksand bassist taking over for Cheng.
Diamond Eyes is very much a Deftones album. Much heavier than Saturday Night Wrist Eyes reminds us of the heavy sound they came out with on Around the Fur and Adrenaline. The album is also a departure from the sound that came forth in White Pony which was also very much a concept album. Now don’t get me wrong I loved White Pony and was patiently waiting for Eros but there’s just something about the Deftones and a really heavy sound that makes them who they are today.
From the very start of the album Diamond Eyes starts with the album titled track. Diamond Eyes prepares you for the heaviness that continues through the entire album. You’ve seen the Butcher is a song that is very reminiscent of a track that you might find from the White Pony sessions. The track is a slower paced melodic romp where lead singer Chino Moreno wails along with the guitar. Beauty School has a Lincoln Park vibe going on with the start of a hip hop beat which then goes into a slower paced rock ballad.
There’s no denying that Chino Moreno is a vocalist in his own category. Chino has always had an awesome unique voice that simply cannot be imitated. The only other vocalist in rock who has a better voice would be Maynard of Tool. It was only appropriate that they did a song together on White Pony called. If you’re new to Deftones this would be an excellent album to start off with. For Deftones fans you’re in for a real treat as you reminisce about the good old days when Deftones first started and Korn was still a good band.

Track List
1. "Diamond Eyes" – 3:08
2. "Royal" – 3:32
3. "CMND/CTRL" – 2:25
4. "You've Seen the Butcher" – 3:31
5. "Beauty School" – 4:47
6. "Prince" – 3:36
7. "Rocket Skates" – 4:14
8. "Sextape" – 4:01
9. "Risk" – 3:38
10. "976–EVIL" – 4:32
11. "This Place Is Death" – 3:40

(Check out tour and news on their website: http://www.deftones.com/home/)

--Steven M. Duarte

The Cocteau Twins: Milk and Kisses (1996)

Still one of my favorites by the masters of the ethereal shoegaze movement. Elizabeth Fraser's angelic and rapturous voice just dances like shimmering light through the swirling jangle of Robin Guthrie's guitar. An album full of complexly melancholic beauty. Both soul stirring and ambient, a truly potent combination after midnight in the desert. Music made for full moons and chill wind and the distant call of coyotes out in the ice colored arid wasteland valley. If you want to build a great shoegaze collection, this is one you MUST own.

1. "Violaine" – 3:45
2. "Serpentskirt" – 3:57
3. "Tishbite" – 3:50
4. "Half-Gifts" – 4:18
5. "Calfskin Smack" – 4:58
6. "Rilkean Heart" – 4:02
7. "Ups" – 3:34
8. "Eperdu" – 4:38
9. "Treasure Hiding" – 4:55
10. "Seekers Who Are Lovers" – 4:45
(Get all the latest news and updates on their website: http://www.cocteautwins.com/)

--Nickolas Cook

Catherine Wheel: Ferment (1992)

Catherine Wheel's 1992 debut album, Ferment, was a magic sounding album! This thing epitomizes for me (along with a handful of other great albums) the damned exciting potential of the 90s alternative music scene. It is a legendary shoegazer classic. At times Ferment's sound is a sonic wall of thick fuzziness and at others, there are moments of crystalline beauty. An album like Ferment comes along very rarely. Not a bad or indifferent track on it. With hit songs like Black Metallic and I Want To Touch You, this should be in the music collection of any serious devotee of the alt-90 sound. It's like a melancholic freeze frame of what could be, before the greed heads decided to place their formidable weight behind the push for what they wanted alt music to sound like. In short, before the douchebags ruined probably the most exciting time in music since the 70s psychedelic movement. All in all, Ferment is a great representation of that time in music history when anything seemed possible and music had the power to create revolutions.

1. "Texture" – 4:19
2. "I Want to Touch You" – 4:40
3. "Black Metallic" – 7:18
4. "Indigo Is Blue" – 5:31
5. "She's My Friend" – 4:16
6. "Shallow" – 3:28
7. "Ferment" – 5:10
8. "Flower to Hide" – 4:43
9. "Tumbledown" – 4:08
10. "Bill and Ben" – 4:09
11. "Salt" – 5:26
12. "Balloon" – 3:56
(Although The Catherine Wheel have disbanded, lead singer Rob Dickinson has a wonderful MySpace page to check out: http://www.myspace.com/robdickinson)

--Nickolas Cook

Otis Redding: The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (1965)

By this, his 2nd album, Redding was already considered the most exciting new voice in Southern soul music. With his trademark soulfully rough tone and his ability to make even previously revered classics by such masters as Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson his own, this soul classic leaves no doubt why he was worshipped in his time as the GREAT! Otis Redding. If you have two good ears and a soul and have never heard this album, shame on you. Get it and play it with the lights turned down low and with someone you love. Then go out and get the rest of his albums and teach others the importance and almost forgotten value of American soul music.

1. "That's How Strong My Love Is" 2:24
2. "Chained and Bound" 2:25
3. "A Woman, a Lover, a Friend" 3:18
4. "Your One and Only Man" 2:48
5. "Nothing Can Change This Love" 2:59
6. "It's Too Late" 3:00
7. "For Your Precious Love" 2:49
8. "I Want to Thank You" 2:35
9. "Come to Me" 2:38
10. "Home in Your Heart" 2:10
11. "Keep Your Arms Around Me" 2:46
12. "Mr. Pitiful" 2:26
(Yes, Otis is dead, but his legacy lives on at this great little website filled with merchandise, music and memories: http://www.otisredding.com/)

--Nickolas (SOUL MAN) Cook