The HARD 10: #6 Deftones – White Pony (2000)


The HARD 10 are ten of the most graphic albums ever released that all left an indelible mark upon the listener and the industry as a whole. Do enjoy these tales and songs, and carry their power into your life, finding their unrepentant aggression to be as emotionally valuable as tears.

Y’know what’s hard? School. Chino Moreno, Chi Cheng, Abe Cunningham, Stephen Carpenter, and DJ Frank Delgado – better known as Deftones – took Mean Girls to the Metal place 2000 with their epic White Pony … and who would’ve guessed SoCal boys could be SoCold. White Pony soundtracks the bully, the bullied, burnout, the heartbreaker, and the heartbroken; difficult: maybe, hard: def.

Ah, school daze…

So run… Right… Right back to school. Look back I sift through all the cliques. Roaming the halls all year making me sick. While everyone’s out trying to make the cut. What. When you think you know me, right, I switch it up. Cause back in school, we are the leaders of all.

White Pony is the proverbial black sheep in the pasture — sandbox, rather — of lions and lambs … from Nelson Muntz to Marshall Mathers the ‘Tones went to the depths – beyond darkness – of crazy… deranged, by way of atmospheric disparate alchemy immersing methodical lyricism mirroring mentalities unhinged … por ejemplo, “Feiticiera,”

Touch the machine new mxxderer. First untie me, untie me for now. You said you would, right? And you were right. (soon I’ll let you go).

The sonic aesthetic is basalt viscera pulsing adamantine ore … respiratory guitar, gravitational bass, stiff snare to the point of lyrical inaudibility; the album reinforces distortion – from vocalizations to expressed vantages … the polarity of that darkness is the essential soul underscoring this range rhapsody.

The same group that, “gave you all the love they had, gave you more than they could give…” is the same group that will …

… steal a carcass for you, then feed off the virus; cause you’re my girl, and that’s alright. If you sting me, I won’t mind.

No ordinary love, indeed … said love manipulates the conventions of normalcy — transforming notions of extraordinary; let it be made clear, though: said romance definitively reifies bad — not only do they want the ugly and disease, they feed off of it.

Pivot to the tracklist … survey the scape … from “Back to School (Mini Maggit)” and “Teenager,” to “Street Carp” and “RX Queen” – SparkNotes synopsis says: “because when everyday existence and adolescent-adjacent infatuation get as heavy as the Deftones make it, the hardest girls become little pill-poppin’ princesses” … White Pony comes across through the thematic demeanor of Graduation with the macabre delivery and gilded Stepford subtext of American Beauty.

And of the course, as no socio-scholastic career is complete without a right-ready rager, so we are welcomed to the ivory equine’s serrated soiree: “Knife Prty,”

My knife it’s sharp and chrome, Come see inside my bones. All of the fiends are on the block. I’m the new king, I taste the queen; In here we are all anemic, in here anemic and sweet.

Life is hard, love is rough; sometimes, when you need a release, just gotta: “get your knife and come in … get your knife and lay down.”

In a manner of analogous reach … said record album is akin to Mean Girls gone metallic (as if the post-“as if” kids were to say) … Nu-Metal Oscar Wilde kind of party — or not; but, then again, they party like I embrace music like I live like I work like I such and so forth: so HARD.

(Well, let’s be real … if it’s me we’re referencing … issa bit more like … a yeah-yeah-yeah : so bard . ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

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