INITIAL IMPRESSIONS OF THE NEW AGAINST ME! AND DEFTONES ALBUMS
I am a huge fan of Against Me! and the Deftones, both of whom have new albums coming out this year that have leaked on the internet ahead of their street dates. Having worked for record labels from 1999-2005, I'm not much for illegally downloading music as I know how much work goes into prepping these releases by both the artists and the label and feel that stealing music from bands that you are a fan of isn't cool. Then again, times are tough and spending your hard earned dough on music that you don't know for 100% certain is going to be good doesn't seem to make much sense, so if the albums are already out there, then why not grab them, listen to them and if you deem them worthy of your cash, then buy the albums when they are released or support the band by paying to see a show or picking up a piece of their merch if you so choose.
With that last theory in mind, I gladly accepted when a friend offered me digital copies of both Against Me!'s White Crosses and Deftones Diamond Eyes. Like I said, I am a huge fan of both bands and don't feel like waiting months to hear their new albums....I want to hear them now. And if I really love the albums, then I'll pick up physical copies when they arrive in the stores, but if they aren't very good, then I know to avoid them. [I mostly acquire my music in digital formats these days, but for bands that qualify as "all-time favorites" or are a new artist that I'm really, really into, I buy the actual CD, so that I can leave it in my stereo and put it into heavy rotation...when something is just on my iPod I tend to forget it is there and wind up not listening to it much. But this is a subject for another post on another day.] Nothing wrong with a test drive before buying right?
I liked the first half of Against Me!'s last album New Wave, but wasn't wild about the second half and would say it is easily their weakest album. My initial impression of White Crosses is that it is a continuation of the sound they were going for on New Wave which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it isn't a particularly great thing either. I neither loved nor hated this album. It wasn't offensive to the ears, but it wasn't pleasing either. Maybe it will grow on me after a few listens, but I'm not sure I'll ever get around to giving it those few more listens.
Both the title track and "Rocket Skates" from the upcoming album Diamond Eyes by the Deftones have been making the rounds for a while now. I like both songs and upon first listen think the rest of the album is pretty damn good. I'm not sure it is quite Around The Fur or White Pony levels of great, but it appears that the Deftones have delivered yet another winner.