Deftones - Covers [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)


Covers [12-inch] (2011)

Warner Bros.

As an avid Deftones fan, going through the internet archives searching for rarities and whatnot has constantly kept me happy and wanting even more. Most hardcore fans of any music will tell you the same thing. Getting that live bootleg, or MP3 single of such-and-such song has been the equivalent to Pokémon collecting, and having one is not enough. Thanks to the good folks in the Deftones camp, they have taken that notion and put together this exclusive vinyl for Record Store Day, simply titled Covers.

This 11-song collection is spread wide across the musical spectrum and it should be a really good indication of what inspires the band. Deftones have always held the title of being hard to pigeonhole, and with the choices of covering bands like the Cure, the Cardigans, Jawbox, Drive Like Jehu and Sade, you will probably agree. The album starts off with perhaps the most elegant cover, "Drive", which was originally performed by the Cars. Chino Moreno's take on the late '70s/early '80s new wave style is most excellent, and it showcases his wonderful ability to actually sing and croon without the harsh screaming he's usually known for. This same style is used to great effect on their cover of the song, "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by the Smiths. Chino does Morrissey's vocals terrifically without being a spot-on impersonation.

The rest of the band doesn't disappoint, either. Recorded during the span of their career as a band, each cover showcases their then-current talent and dedication to the spirit of the songs themselves. One of the more odd covers on the album is "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd. This was apparently recorded way back, pre-Adrenaline days, and going by the sound and style, you could probably notice that, but what's amazing is that its rawness shines through, underneath a band about to break into otherworldly territories. It's a unique expression of their honest musicianship and desire to "go there."

Other highlights, such as "Savory" by Jawbox and "Caress" by Drive Like Jehu, respectfully, enable the band to go off, and it's sheer, spastic goodness. Stephen Carpenter's guitars screech and crunch, while Abe Cunningham pounds on the drum kit like his life depended on it. Also, Chi Cheng complements with his bass playing, and even Sergio Vega gets some time in as Chi's current replacement on the DLJ cover.

Some of their other known covers by artists like Cocteau Twins, Helmet, Suicidal Tendencies and Weezer are left out, but by no accounts does that falter the album. You can tell the band's excitement when listening. The 11 tracks go by quickly while the vinyl spins and gently scratches, giving the songs an overall humble quality, and hearing one of my favorite bands on this format for the first time is quite the experience. Dig it...