Faith No More

Picture of Faith No More

We Care A Lot

Faith No More - We Care A Lot ©1985 Mordam
1. We Care A Lot
2. The Jungle
3. Mark Bowen
4. Jim
5. Why Do You Bother
6. Greed
7. Pills For Breakfast
8. As The Worm Turns
9. Arabian Disco
10. New Beginnings

The debut album from the Bay Area's best band was easily worth every moment I've spent listening to it over the years. Naturally I - as with most people - didn't hear of Faith No More until The Real Thing, but trekking into their back catalogue of pre-Mike Patton material was very rewarding. Chuck Mosely, who handled the vocals for the first two full length albums, was hardly capable or even remotely talented but he exerted enough attitude and character to actually make it work. Faith No More always struck me as a band of acids and bases, where things should not mix and when they do, it is very volatile. The music is self-sustaining yet always in conflict with itself if you look at the elementals. Jim Martin's guitar was a jagged shark biting against the unique tribalistic rhythms of Mike Bordin and bassist Billy Gould while Roddy Bottum's keyboards hovered above the chaos, allowing for a tiny bit of serenity. Meanwhile, Chuck just yelled, rapped and attempted to sing over the music. However it was that clashing energy that propelled Faith No More so well.

The debut of course contained the early FNM staple "We Care a Lot" (which saw a revamping in their 1987 release Introduce Yourself) but that was not the only track that deserved attention. Even in their earliest stages, FNM was capable of incredible songwriting that pushed forth a viable mood: "Greed", "As the Worm Turns", "The Jungle". Mosely was often amusingly self-conscious of his lack of real ability as the lyrics of "Greed" note:

"Over the hills they came from the valley
Making innuendos about my lack of talent...oh well...
They say that when I'm supposed to be singing
All I'm really doing is yelling..oh well..."

Regardless of his highly evident shortcomings, he still remained a fairly convincing singer. With such a strong backing band as the other members of Faith No More were, he really had no pressure to do anything but sing with conviction. Needless to say, We Care a Lot should have been a more monumental debut but due to its relative obscurity, it was a difficult album to procure. Nevertheless, for any Faith No More fan, it is a necessity to learn where this band started and to hear their phenomenal music at its most innocent.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1999

Back to top 

Introduce Yourself

Faith No More - Introduce Yourself ©1987 Slash
1. Faster Disco
2. Anne's Song
3. Introduce Yourself
4. Chinese Arithmetic
5. Death March
6. We Care A Lot
7. R N R
8. The Crab Song
9. Blood
10. Spirit

Faith No More really was years ahead of the game on Introduce Yourself. While bands like Korn have in past years have gotten attention for their funk-infused rhythm-core, it's interesting to listen to the fusion of angry slashing guitars, rappish vocals, and of course the slap-funk bass on songs like "R'n'R" or "Chinese Arithmatic". Singer Chuck Mosely was truly not very gifted in anything except enthusiasm, so a possible turnoff for those familiar with Mike Patton-era FNM are his off-key vocals. At the same time, they contain a lot of character and on a more rap-talk song like "Anne's Song", they fit the music quite well. In comparison to the indie We Care a Lot, Introduce Yourself is more polished sonically, bringing out Jim Martin's heavy, slashing guitar sound as well as making Roddy Bottum's keyboards more soothing. The juxtaposition between the two instruments brought forth a lot of identity for the band. Even ten years after first hearing it, I still find this album to be quite enjoyable.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/1999

Back to top 

The Real Thing

Faith No More - The Real Thing ©1989 Slash/Reprise
1. From Out Of Nowhere
2. Epic
3. Falling To Pieces
4. Surprise! You're Dead!
5. Zombie Eaters
6. Edge Of The World
7. The Real Thing
8. Underwater Love
9. The Morning After
10. Woodpecker From Mars
11. War Pigs

Most people found their first exposure to Faith No More in 1990, about a year after the release of The Real Thing, via the flopping fish and fairly large rap-funk metal crossover hit "Epic". Whether or not the general public quite grasped the brilliance of Faith No More is debateable but for the time being afterwards, the band enjoyed (or endured, as it might be) a rather impressive flirt with fame.

For those of us who discovered Faith No More a year previous, The Real Thing was nothing more but an astounding record for the times. I first heard the band on an Arizona radio show that aired each Sunday night and featured an hour of underground metal acts. Faith No More was featured quite often and as a result, I picked up their tape as soon as I found a copy. The next few months were spent in constant awe of how fantastic this album was. The fact that the band didn't dwell in one stylistic trapping was a breath of fresh air in a time when thrash bands played the exact same song ten times in a row. Each song had a different angle on a hard rock and metal. Perhaps in 1989 such diversity would be a lot for fans to properly assimilate and the lack of attention Faith No More received for a year after the release is surely proof.

Even now, with Faith No More's brief time in the spotlight (which thankfully they pointed partly away from themselves by releasing their masterpiece and fairweather fan dispersing Angel Dust) notwithstanding, The Real Thing is an utterly fantastic album. The album was the first to feature singer Mike Patton, whose talent is nearly unmatched in music. At the time he tended to offer a more cutesy approach that did fit the songs well. On occasion his bellow and roar would sneak out, as it does on the death metal and raucous "Surprise! You're Dead!" The band's music was somewhat less funk-rappish as it had been on the two previous albums with Chuck Mosely as vocalist. Some of the songs hinted a bit at more progressive rock roots, but Jim Martin's dangerously distorted metallic riffs kept the band firmly in the realm of mutated metal. The other very impressive thing about this album is that the songs were both catchy and timeless. Over a decade later, songs like "From Out of Nowhere", "Falling to Pieces", "Underwater Love" and "Zombie Eaters" (a very twisted look at the concept of infants) still remain fresh and invigorating. Moreover, when you go from the rap-funk of "Epic" to the piano lounge scene of "Edge of the World" to the death metal take on "Surprise! You're Dead!", the result is an eccletic album that is still able to retain a strong thread of interest throughout. Certainly a classic in its own right, The Real Thing does indeed live up to its title and demands your ownership and worship.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2000

Back to top 

Live At The Brixton Academy

Faith No More - Live At the Brixton Academy ©1991 Slash/London
1. Falling to Pieces
2. The Real Thing
3. Epic
4. War Pigs
5. From Out of Nowhere
6. We Care a Lot
7. Zombie Eaters
8. Edge of the World
9. The Grade
10. The Cowboy Song

When this live album was released in 1991, Faith No More had undergone the transformation from a relatively obscure San Francisco act to a moderate leftfield hit act courtesy of the success of the "Epic" video on MTV. If you'll recall, 1989's The Real Thing was released to a little bit of critical fanfare, but it took nearly a year before anyone could be bothered to pay attention outside of a few music nerds who were "in the know". Initially, their diversity and unique approach didn't mesh well with established metal fans. Faith No More toured in 1989 with their pals in Metallica, but I recall high school classmates ripping on Faith No More for having the nerve to allow a keyboard player in the band. The horrors! Nevertheless, "Epic" broke down some barriers for the band and they were skyrocketing to commercial success. No doubt that the late arrival of the "Epic" video pushed the band to continue to touring on The Real Thing and capitalize on the attention with Live at the Brixton Academy. Without question this live album was meant to have product to sell until the band could stop touring long enough to write a new album.

Like many stopgap live albums, The Brixton Academy is a decent document of the band's live performance at the time, but not particularly riveting in the way Iron Maiden's Live After Death is. The setlist is almost entirely from The Real Thing, ignoring the band's first two albums beyond "We Care a Lot". The VHS version of this show included "As the Worm Turns", but this great song failed to make the CD version. Perhaps at the time the record label and/or management felt it wasn't wise to "confuse" new fans by interjecting material from Faith No More's first two albums, since they featured Chuck Mosely as the singer. I personally would have loved to have heard Mike Patton's unique voice on more of the older material, particularly since the first two albums both have some great music. The CD does tack on a couple bonus studio outtakes from The Real Thing, so at least there was a little something extra for the fans.

Considering the production isn't spectacular (though serviceable) and just about everything here is found in fine form on The Real Thing, Live at the Brixton Academy hardly rates as something an average Faith No More fan needs for fulfillment in life. As with most live albums, either you're better off being there in person or simply sticking to the studio versions.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2010

Back to top 

Angel Dust

Faith No More - Angel Dust ©1992 Slash/Reprise
1. Land Of Sunshine
2. Caffeine
3. Midlife Crisis
4. RV
5. Smaller And Smaller
6. Everything's Ruined
7. Malpractice
8. Kindergarten
9. Be Aggressive
10. A Small Victory
11. Crack Hitler
12. Jizzlobber
13. Midnight Cowboy

So after the surprising success of the "Epic" single and video, Faith No More looked poised to catapult themselves into the bigtime with whatever followup the band chose to release. After some grueling tours where it was slowly being revealed that in fact the members of Faith No More either truly hated or pretended to hate one another, the band returned with Angel Dust, possibly one of the most challenging followups to a major hit record in recent memory.

Rather than repeat the formula of The Real Thing, the band chose to raise their middle fingers to convention, opting for a very non-mainstream approach that confounded and alienated everyone who thought they were a rap-metal band. In fact, those who thought "Epic" was the entirety of Faith No More's musical portfolio couldn't be more mistaken. Instead, the multilevel approach of The Real Thing was given a dose of amphetamines, steeped in hallucinogenics. The band's melodic, inherently catchy side was heavily draped in tones and approaches that made the music less accessible. Unless, of course, one was a dedicated fan who could see beyond instant gratification.

The most notable aspect of Angel Dust was the emergence of Mike Patton as a singer capable of more than a cute bratty singing voice. The self-titled debut for his original band, Mr. Bungle, proved to the world that Patton had an unreal range of styles to which he could apply to music. Once back in Faith No More's camp, he downpoured his ability all over the place, giving one of the most impressive vocal performances on record. Both melodic and abrasive, his vocals elevate this album to a higher notch.

The songs on Angel Dust are, for the most part, very catchy and memorable, given some time to comprehend them. "Land of Sunshine", "Midlife Crisis", "Everything's Ruined", "Kindergarten" and "Be Aggressive" are all incredible, with the other tracks being at least really darned good. Rumor has it that the core of the band, drummer Mike Bordin, keyboardist Roddy Bottum and bassist Bill Gould, wrote the entire album with guitarist Jim Martin creating his guitar parts in the studio. One would think such haphazard methods wouldn't work, but the clashing, dissonant guitar work of Martin only enhances the music. If the band truly did hate one another, there was a musical chemistry between all the members that somehow cut through the tension to create some amazing music.

Angel Dust has turned out to be perhaps Faith No More's most significant statement in their career. Requiring a little more attention and patience, the album ultimately becomes a rewarding experience that, ten years after its release, continues to give and give. If nothing else, it frightened off all the "Epic" fans and allowed the band to please its dedicated core audience.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2002

Back to top 

Easy EP

Faith No More - Easy EP ©1993 Slash/Reprise
1. Easy
2. Das Schutzenfest
3. Midnight Cowboy
4. Let's Lynch The Landlord

This EP and/or "maxi-single" (classification depends on your perspective) features three previously unreleased tracks and one song from 1992's Angel Dust album. The title track is, of course, the famous Lionel Richie cover, which Faith No More had been performing during the Angel Dust tour. The Faith No More version is surprisingly not far away from the original and only contains a small amount of snot-nose brattiness, and a whole lot of saccharine. "Das Schutzenfest" is an unreleased Faith No More original and sounds like a goofy German drinking song. The final unreleased song is the band's take on the Dead Kennedys' "Let's Lynch the Landlord", completely turned on end with a twisted lounge room/liederhosen hybrid that I just made up, at least as far as subgenre styles go.

Though brief, this single is one of the more amusing releases for Faith No More, and "Easy" charted quite well in the UK. It's a considerably lighthearted diversion from two of their dark albums (1992's Angel Dust and 1995's King for a Day). Definitely worth tracking down and including in your Faith No More collection.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 12/2007

Back to top 

King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime

Faith No More - King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime ©1995 Slash/Reprise
1. Get Out
2. Ricochet
3. Evidence
4. The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies
5. Star A.D.
6. Cuckoo For Caca
7. Caralho Voador
8. Ugly In The Morning
9. Digging The Grave
10. Take This Bottle
11. King For A Day
12. What A Day
13. The Last To Know
14. Just A Man

Distancing themselves further from any sort of mainstream success or acceptance, Faith No More erupted from the morass of potential oblivion with King for a Day Fool for a Lifetime, which was the first album to be released after the band kicked out guitarist James Martin. Trey Spruance was recruited from Mr. Bungle to record the guitars on this record but apparently lasted just long enough to hit all the chords and notes necessary. His style is a definite contrast from Martin's obtuse and confrontational tone. As a result, King for a Day is a bit of a detour for the band, though still very recognizable as Faith No More.

Much of the material here seems to be the result of split personalities within the band. On the first few (dozen) listens, there doesn't seem to be much cohesion or flow throughout the album and it literally can take months or years to really quite get where the album takes the listener. While there are a few rock solid gems that would have been radio hits for Faith No More in 1991, the middle of the album is a frothing, ugly mess of vicious hideous sounds. From "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" to "Ugly in the Morning", you get five songs that are utterly and intentionally difficult. These tracks of course allow Mike Patton to go quite nuts with his talented vocal chords and take you through a quagmire of songs that are not going to rest easy with you. On the flipside, if one were to program the CD player according, Faith No More "lite" can be had on this album as well. "Evidence" is a retro-flavored, soft and brooding number that suggest old funk and disco without actually going there. "Digging the Grave", "Get Out", "What a Day" and "Ricochet" are all hard hitting but still very palatable. "Take This Bottle" is a downhome, potentially country&western flavored number. The album closer "Just a Man" is fairly serene and ends the album very appropriately.

Every single one of the songs has the ability to be extremely fulfilling, given the listener is in the correct mood for that particular avenue of sound. In my experience, I've found myself skipping right though the middle of the album when I wasn't in the mood to hear Patton lose his marbles in vocal hysterics, while the rest of the album serves the purposes of being wonderful. Other times the chaos of those certain tracks was perfect. While not as completely devastating as Angel Dust, King for a Day has turned out to be one of the better moments in this band's career.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2000

Back to top 

Album Of The Year

Faith No More - Album Of The Year ©1997 Slash/Reprise
1. Collision
2. Stripsearch
3. Last Cup Of Sorrow
4. Naked In Front Of The Computer
5. Helpless
6. Mouth To Mouth
7. Ashes To Ashes
8. She Loves Me Not
9. Got That Feeling
10. Paths Of Glory
11. Home Sick Home
12. Pristina

Aside from the title which in my opinion rips off Frank Black's Teenager of the Year, this is an excellent return to form for Faith No More. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for these guys, as their Real Thing got me through my junior year of high school and Angel Dust helped me through the summer of my freshman year of college. King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime didn't help anybody's matters, however. That album, while containing some great cuts, just was too weak for the standard FNM had set for themselves.

Well, fear not, because they are back! Armed with new guitarist Jon Hudson, this is the album they had to release to rectify their mediocrity of the past. Mixing all the elements of the past, including the resurgence of prominent keyboards (that has always been mandatory FNM), this entire effort works. It isn't quite as harsh as some of Angel Dust, nor is it poppy and happy like The Real Thing, instead finding common ground between the two. Mike Patton, as usual, is phenomenal in his singing. Every time I hear him, I am more impressed. The man uses his voice both for singing and for instrumentation (though not quite like that annoying "solo" album he put out last year). Shouting, whispering, lounge's all here.

The band has also stepped up the songwriting. "Last Cup of Sorrow" reminds me a bit of "Evidence" from King for a Day in mood and approach, while "Mouth to Mouth" has both a carnival and middle eastern sound. That's a little disconcerting. "Helpless" starts out in a very Mind Funk-ish dirty guitar riff, and then mellows a bit. But the songs have incredible chord progression and flow within themselves. You will be playing this one over and over. All there is to it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1997

Back to top 

Who Cares A Lot?

Faith No More - Who Cares A Lot? ©1999 Slash
1. The World Is Yours
2. Introduce Yourself
3. Instrumental
4. I Won't Forget You
5. Introduce Yourself (4 Track Demo)
6. Midlife Crisis
7. Theme From Midnight Cowboy
8. Easy
9. Digging The Grave
10. The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies
11. Evidence
12. I Started A Joke
13. Last Cup Of Sorrow
14. Ashes To Ashes
15. Stripsearch

You can always tell when a band has passed into the tomes of history when a best of package appears on the market. Who Cares a Lot? is a grab-bag of various songs arranged chronologically throughout their fifteen year career, with more emphasis on the commercially viable Mike Patton era. The inclusion of only two Chuck Mosely era songs is a bit of a letdown. Although Chuckie isn't even blessed with ten percent of the talent of Patton, the first two Faith No More albums are still wonderful and worthy of more attention than given here. The first glaring error of the disc is mislabelling the "We Care a Lot" as the original version, when it is actually from their second album, Introduce Yourself. Thus, the debut We Care a Lot is ignored in its entirety. The next annoying factor on the disc is the inclusion of the first three tracks from The Real Thing in exact order as they originally appear. The entire disc is simply nothing more than a selection of generally safe tracks that any Faith No More fan would already have. Considering the second disc is the real gem with unreleased tracks and rareties, I certainly would have preferred either a longer single disc of rareties to make the CD worth my while or two CDs of live tracks and otherwise hard to find recordings from the band's long career, including some of The Real Thing demos that had Chuck on vocals. Those are much more interesting than duplicating what already exists. So yes, this is a cash cow and not much more, only redeemed by the bonus second disc. I wish record companies would get on the ball in giving fans their money's worth rather than rehashing the original main course.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/1999

Back to top