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Deftones’ Top 20 Songs

on April 06, 2016, 11:00am
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10. “Bored”

Adrenaline (1995)

A portrait of a young Deftones bashing it out in their knee-highs and Chucks. The band would quickly graduate from the thinner and thrashier sound of their debut album, Adrenaline, but even in their earliest form, you can tell there’s something different about Deftones. Those intangibles are most evident on “Bored”: the urgency in Moreno’s delivery, Carpenter’s manic riffing, Cheng’s seductive bass lines, and the pot-banging brilliance of drummer Abe Cunningham. The trajectory for the rest of their career was set right here. –Jon Hadusek

09. “Entombed”

Koi No Yokan (2012)

If “Entombed” isn’t the Deftones’ finest song, it’s arguably their sexiest. Beneath the uplifting textures and shoegazing bliss, Moreno’s emotion is palpable and affecting. He channels Morrissey, projecting morbid eroticism through lyrics laced with pain: “From the day you arrived/ I’ve remained by your side / In chains, entombed.” Love is often beautiful, but passion can turn volatile, and that is the motif I draw from “Entombed” and Koi No Yokan. –Jon Hadusek

08. “Pink Maggit”

White Pony (2000)

Though many fans prefer the rap rock version (“Back To School – Mini Maggit”), the original version before the label pushed Deftones to go more nu-metal is truly the better version. To what sounds like waves of distorted guitar and clouds of feedback, Chino does that stretched-out whisper-scream seemingly only he can do before jumping into one of their catchiest, heaviest jaunts. They’ve all commented on how none of them were cool in high school, and “Pink Maggit” and its perfect chord progression instantly capture that angst and anger. Who cares if you were picked last in gym the first time around? Back in school, we are the leaders. Find me a better way to brush off the criticism than “all you are to me is meat.” It doesn’t exist. “Pink Maggit” is top notch. –Dan Bogosian

07. “Rocket Skates”

Diamond Eyes (2010)

That galloping riff with those bass slides at the start of “Rocket Skates” make me want to both film a skateboarding video and burn a few houses down. There’s an unrelenting energy that drives this song, like it’s always falling forward until suddenly ending, and we’ve made it through okay. “Guns, razors, knives” is such a simple but brilliant signature that the band posted it all over their merchandise after Diamond Eyes was released. Few bands that have lasted this long are still discovering a youthful brilliance like “Rocket Skates”. I can’t skate and I’m not going to burn anything down, but I promise you, I want to. –Dan Bogosian

06. “My Own Summer (Shove It)”

Around the Fur (1997)

For many, this was their first Deftones song. Carpenter’s lascivious riff and Moreno’s vocals, whispered through a veil of fuzz, create the intoxicating combination that would become the template for the band’s sound going forward: heavy, sexy, poetic. The lead track on Around the Fur and an FM radio hit, “My Own Summer” sounded like nothing else at the time, standing out like a shining beacon amid nu metal power-hours and countdown video shows. It remains their most anthemic chorus and a highlight of live shows. –Jon Hadusek

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