Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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OMGWTFLOL: The Deftones – “Pink Cellphone” (2006)

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on October 3, 2007

“And that is why British people have bad teeth…”

The Deftones’ album from last year, Saturday Night Wrist, sorta came and went without too much fanfare. And while I can’t necessarily fault the general public for that–The Deftones’ time in the spotlight, assuming they ever really had one, had obviously come and gone, and there’s no one song on SNW that really had a chance to reverse their fading commercial fortunes–it’s actually a pretty decent album, at the very least a worthy entry in the band’s impressive catalogue, and one of the best/only dream-metal albums of recent years. “Cherry Waves” sounds like My Bloody Valentine attempting a power ballad, “Hole in the Earth” integrates the band’s Cocteau Twins influence into their most anthemic single in years, and there’s even a surprisingly appropriate cover of “Drive,” The Cars’ most ethereal hit, as a secret song. Mostly, it’s some pretty great stuff.

Mostly. Before listening myself, when hearing about Saturday Night Wrist from others–mostly fans–even those that had mostly positive things to say about the album always made exception for a little song called “Pink Cellphone.” I couldn’t imagine what could be so bad about it, since even the worst Deftones songs–and it seems like nearly all of their albums have at least one or two songs that are completely forgettable–still tend to be cool and atmospheric and invigorating enough that I couldn’t ever rail on them the way people were really sticking it to “Cellphone”. I heard there was some woman doing guest vocals on it (Annie Hardy of Giant Drag), but whatever, so did Around the Fur‘s “Headup,” one of my favorite Deftones songs. So I was pretty curious to hear what this song not even the most diehard Toners could handle was like.

My first listen in, I was surprised to find that I didn’t mind the song much at all. Yeah, all right, so it wasn’t the Deftones’ finest hour–it’s an uncharacteristically laconic, beat-heavy, guitar-light song that ends up sound halfway between an awkward tribute to Tricky and an awkward tribute to Depeche Mode, and the spoken word parts (“Believe in the one true power!”) were kind of silly, but whatever, I was glad to have a song on the album to break up the metalgaze onslaught. As the song ended, I confirmed what I sort of suspected all along–that the fanboys were totally nutso in their overreaction, and that The Deftones were still unable to write a downright shit song.

But it wasn’t really the end of the song. And then the spoken word part went in another direction:

Greasy filthy handjobs in truck stop restrooms
Hot Carling all over..
Hot CARLING, I turned that into a verb
Hope you appreciate it
Carling, Hot Carling Academy
It’s a school where you go to learn how to butt-fuck, it’s in England
They don’t have blowjobs there because they’re uncircumcized
And that is just disgusting, so… they have to butt-fuck.
Which also is disgusting, because that extra foreskin trapped all
The germs and the poop, and the butt-fucking residue; Sin
And that is why British people have bad teeth…Amen

Now, I’m generally all for bands putting bad inside jokes on record. Except I’m actually not, since it’s only a good idea about .003% of the time, and all but one or two of those rare instances can be found on Ween albums or The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. Needless to say, this is a shining fucking example as to why.

I’m not so much upset by this spoken word outro as I am puzzled and slightly furious. There is absolutely no reason on earth for the last minute of this song to exist. None. I dunno if the Deftones were trying to prove they had a sense of humor (they don’t, or at least they shouldn’t) or if they thought pontifications on Hot Carls and circumcized butt-fucking were of thematic relevance to the song (it isn’t, or at least it really, really shouldn’t be) or if they just owed someone in Giant Drag rent money (yeah, fair enough), but I can’t think of any other album I would largely classify as “decent” with 60 seconds of music as unlistenable as this. So much for Tricky and Depeche Mode, I guess.

A Kauffman-esque experiment in testing audience expectations, maybe? An attempt to mimmick what high school girls (presumably) talk about on their (presumably) pink cellphones? A lost bet with Fred Durst? C’mon guys, am I getting warmer?

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6 Responses to “OMGWTFLOL: The Deftones – “Pink Cellphone” (2006)”

  1. Ian said

    I’m to understand that the outro got cut from the record that actually ended up in stores.

  2. […] …Blogged about at OMGWTFLOL: The Deftones – “Pink Cellphone” (2006) – intensities in ten suburbs, – Last Updated – 6 minutes ago    Follow This Story   Change Your Location San Francisco, CA   Email This Story   Print Got something to say about this story, post your blog here and tell the world. […]

  3. […] always wanted to ask you about that “Pink Cellphone” outro, the spoken-word “Hot Carling” part. How did that come about? [Laughs nervously.] Oh yeah. I don’t know. We were probably not even […]

  4. Jesse said

    I was pleased. I don’t even care. that shit was amusing as fuck. I liked it because the song almost sounded like they were going all christiany with that “belief in the one true power” shizz. Then the outro started. haha. I think it was kinda great.

  5. you sad person… don’t be angry. maybe you need a hug from someone you love.. thats all… rejoice!

  6. Chris said

    Its called psychedelics. Also, we tend to be overly attracted to what makes us comfortable. Maybe thats whats wrong with all of us. Because an artist does something to make you uncomfortable shouldnt be held against the artist. Sounds like your problem. Eminem i hear made a killing off pissing people off.

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