By Victoria Kezra
The latest Deftones album is scheduled for release Nov. 13, but until then the band has released a free song to help tide fans over. “Leathers” became available to download for a limited time from the band’s website on Sept. 19.
It’s been nearly two years since the release of their last album. Diamond Eyes was a moody and claustrophobic album, made as a catharsis for the band after their bass player went into a coma following a motorcycle accident. A nearly done album was scrapped after the accident and Diamond Eyes was made in its place. It became their way to cope, and produced one of their darkest but most thoughtful albums.
The structure of “Leathers” is interesting, to say the least. Deftones have been known to mix ambient sound and heavy rock to produce something both crushing and melodic, but the intro is so mellow I wasn’t sure at first if the song was even playing. The guitars crash down at around the 40-second mark, laying the dreamy melody to waste. As always, lead singer Chino has two vocal modes: breathy singing and screaming. Both styles have their place and often appear in the same song, recalling “My Own Summer” off their sophomore album Around the Fur.
The song indicates that Deftones have studied their own catalog, pulling the best from their work over the years to produce something that speaks very well for the upcoming album Koi No Yokan. There is just the right balance of a cascade of rock guitars and the melody from the beginning of the song. Buried but still present, it pushes the song forward on a smooth flow. “Leathers” reaches cacophonous peaks and dips back down smoothly. It took a few listens for me to know what to make of the track, but it’s one that I gained more appreciation for with every listen. Hopefully, the rest of Koi No Yokan is as enjoyable.