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Deftones’ Top 20 Songs

on April 06, 2016, 11:00am
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15. “U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,Select,Start”

Saturday Night Wrist (2006)

This jazzy instrumental ebbs and flows unlike anything else the band’s ever produced, a credit to the song’s bizarre instrumentation, which sees Carpenter on drums and Moreno on guitar. Despite being wordless, it’s the most memorable part of the pleasant blur that is Saturday Night Wrist, the black sheep album in the discography. The track title references the famous Konami Code of video game lore. –Jon Hadusek

14. “Around the Fur”

Around the Fur (1997)

The intro to this song, the title track on their sophomore album, still stands up today. That itching bass drum kicking and kicking, the wilting of Chino’s whispers: it all accumulates into one of their catchiest choruses from the ’90s. “I just want your eyes fixated on me, coming back around the fur.” I can’t make a ruling on whether this song is a rant towards a hooker or a love song towards one or something else I don’t fully process; what I can say is I’m ready to start a mosh pit every time I hear it. –Dan Bogosian

13. “Diamond Eyes”

Diamond Eyes (2010)

“Diamond Eyes” sounds like the soundtrack to the future of slasher movies, like someone is being hunted by an unstoppable foe. Few bands turn insane riffs into powerful songs like Deftones do, and singing about those pearly diamond eyes before what sounds like the slasher cutting his victim stands out as something no other bands could pull off. Throw in a sneaky time signature change at the chorus and what might be their most violent breakdown, and what’s not to love? –Dan Bogosian

12. “Minerva”

Deftones (2003)

In a way, Deftones brought shoegaze to the alternative metal mainstream with “Minerva”, a crushingly heavy, textured jam indebted to Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins and Hum (who Moreno and Carpenter have cited as the origin for their guitar sound). The song’s power lies in its repetition — essentially a two-chord drone — as feedback swells and recedes in a controlled chaos. It’s far-and-away the best track on the 2001 self-titled album and hints at the dreamier directions Deftones are now exploring. –Jon Hadusek

11. “Teenager”

White Pony (2000)

“Teenager” is the softest and most sentimental moment in the Deftones’ discography. True to its title, the lyrics were written by a 15-year-old Chino Moreno after a first date, and the tone of the song perfectly evokes the strange ambience of a boy in his room late at night, scratching out words on a pad because he can’t sleep off his yearning. I’ve probably put this track on every mix I’ve ever made for a girl. –Jon Hadusek

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