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Pop Music Review

Deftones Attack With Vibrant Sound

November 06, 1998|SANDY MASUO

It's hard to ignore the similarities between the Sacramento rock band Deftones and its kindred spirit Korn. Both groups' success is built on a powerful live show, and both draw on the same stylistic ingredients: hip-hop, metal, punk and a touch of pop. Yet each band has a distinct personality that's much more pronounced on stage than in the studio. Deftones' music is moodier and more dynamic than Korn's, and those qualities were integral to its vibrant performance at the packed Hollywood Palladium on Wednesday.

As intense as he is laid-back, singer Chino Moreno is a quirkily charismatic frontman, crooning dreamily into the microphone one minute, then caroming across the stage the next. On Wednesday, he ran the gamut as the quartet ran through its paces from thrashy squalls ("Nosebleed") to sinuous, grinding grooves ("Bored") and dark, melodic stretches ("Be Quiet and Drive [Far Away]").

Deftones also has a penchant for trippy tangents, and a couple of tunes threatened to meander out of focus, but the occasional sprawl didn't detract from the set. Deftones' musical attack isn't quite airtight, but a bit of breathing room is what allows the group to prove its character.

Also on the bill were the English quintet Pitchshifter and the recently reunited hard-core outfit Quicksand. A year on hiatus hasn't had any detrimental effect on the New York quartet, and it struck a perfect balance between grit and groove in its seamless set.

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