Seven albums in, the mixing and mashing continues on Koi No Yokan.

Koi No Yokan
Reprise Records

The Deftones are a hybrid. Always mutating. Always growing. They started out mixing heavy metal aggression from Stephen Carpenter’s crunchy, down-tuned, 7-string guitars with vocalist Chino Moreno’s gutturally charismatic hip-hop-style vocals. Over time, the group channeled Depeche Mode with atmospheric synth pop heard on White Pony’s “Teenager,” and an eerie Cure-ish meloncholy in Deftones’ “Minerva.” Seven albums in, the mixing and mashing continues on Koi No Yokan.

A distorted guitar riff gallops in “Poltergeist” and blooms in its verses with Moreno’s breathy lyrics. Another intensity-driven chorus-bloomer is the bombastic attack-and-release “Leathers.” New facets include hypnotic Jerry Cantrell-style deep string bends in the grooving “Tempest” and the brutal Soundgarden-meets-Quicksand tonal aggressions from bassist Sergio Vega in “Swerve City” and “Rosemary.”

The Deftones still represent what was great about the post-grunge, pre-boy-band ’90s. Further chiseling their musical melting-pot legacy, Koi No Yokan will be in heavy rotation alongside White Pony, Around the Fur, and Adrenaline for years to come. —Chris Kies
Must-hear track: “Tempest”

A faithful recreation of the Germanium Mosrite Fuzzrite with a modern twist.

Read MoreShow less

Presets extend the flexibility of an already expansive and easy-to-use reverb.

Intuitive. Great range in all controls. Well-built.

Some digital artifacts at long decay times.


Walrus Audio Slötvå


Walrus Audio is a prolific builder, but, as the five reverb pedals in their lineup suggest, they have a real affinity for manipulating time and space. The beauty of the Slötvå reverb (which is derived from the company’s very similar Spin FV-1 chip-based Slö reverb) is how satisfying and simple it makes dramatic shifts between time/space textures.

Read MoreShow less

With such a flashy flame top, the Silvertone 1445 was built to catch the eyes of department store shoppers.

I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I’m breaking down all over and my shoulder is the latest to crumble. When I was a kid I would practice guitar in my bedroom near a radiator with an ungrounded amp plug and I’d get a zap right through my guitar and into my hands. Well, my shoulder pain is like that now, only without the cool story of rock ’n’ roll survival. I simply woke up one day like this. After a few weeks of discomfort, I figured I’d try out a new pillow, since mine are flattened like a wafer. I ventured out to the mall and, much to my sadness, saw the local Sears store shuttered, with weeds growing up from the sidewalks and concrete barriers blocking the large glass doors. I know I don’t get out much, but, man, was I sad to see the Sears store I’d known since childhood closed-up like that. My wife was laughing at me because apparently it had been closed for some time. But since I seem to exist on a separate timeline than most folks, it was all news to me.

Read MoreShow less