Chi Cheng

The Bamboo Parachute

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Sacramento's alternative punk-metal band the Deftones are known for delivering a certain kind of attractive rawness inside their throbbing thrash sound. Their third album, White Pony, was released in June 2000, debuting at number three on the Billboard albums chart, quickly gaining a spot in MTV's "Buzzworthy" rotation. The Deftones briefly frolicked with their internal passion on White Pony, but bassist Chi Cheng lets his most personal side come loose on his spoken word solo effort, The Bamboo Parachute. Chi Cheng is one heavy individual, not prolifically haunting like Jim Carroll or Williams S. Burroughs. He seems comfortable with his inner spirituality, noticeably his therapy throughout the 25-track set list of dark, sensual, and solid illustrious poems. He hits upon ill-shaking topics, like sexism and discrimination on "Don Pablos" and "The Man Who Made Blue October," but Cheng also strips to the inner core of love and adoration. The poem "Beautiful" is an attractively bizarre piece of work in tribute to his wife. He is also a motivationalist in search of something better. "It Would Be Good" and "Inside My Pocket Knife" make his honesty ever more tattered and twisted. He admits that such work is "self-indulgence," comically disregarding his work and reading like it's a live spoken-word gig. He laughs about drinking two cups of coffee and later switching to beer. The Bamboo Parachute is his outside exploration, yet a similar adventure lyrically speaking in relation to the Deftones' work. The underlying principle is the lack of feeling inferior. That's what stands out and Chi Cheng is brash enough to admit it through pinch-hitting ambience.