Team Sleep

Over the years, the thing that's kept the Deftones from being cast as an also-ran in the nu-metal franchise has been Chino Moreno's subversive sensibilities. The vocalist's affinity for all things Smiths (Robert, and the outfit led by Morrissey), which is unmistakable in his breathy delivery, has helped the band transcend the one-dimensional aggro leanings of its contemporaries. So it's not surprising that Team Sleep, Moreno's long-anticipated side project, trades heavily in the same type of brooding, ethereal atmospherics he seems to favor. Team Sleep goes from swirling Swervedriver-esque textures ("Your Skull Is Red") to glitchy electro accroutrements à la Squarepusher ("Staring at the Queen") to haunting dirges like "Tomb of Liegia," which features Helium's Mary Timony. Aside from the Hum-inflected "Blvd. Knights," which could just as easily have been a Deftones castoff, this drowsy affair should put many a girlfriend in a coma.

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