Friday, March 27, 2009


Faith No More's 'The Real Thing"(1989) was one of the first metal/alternative crossover albums I ever heard, and one of my favorites of the time next to Soundgarden's "Louder Than Love" and Jane's Addiction's "Nothing's Shocking". What I really love about "The Real Thing" is the way Faith No More seamlessly blends elements of Black Sabbath, thrash metal, hardcore punk, funk, and soul into one cohesive and addictive whole. Mike Patton's vocals are deceptively silky-smoothe and soulful, becoming vicious only when they need to be with unsettling results. They are the perfect blend of snottiness and pure alienation. All of the musicianship is incredible here: Roddy Bottum on keyboards, Jim Martin on guitar, Mike Bordin on drums, and Billy Gould on bass.

An interesting fact about this record. Mike Patton took the place of original vocalist Chuck Moseley, who was kicked out of the band after all of the songs were already written. Strangely enough, Patton's vocals fit all of the songs perfectly. I personally prefer his vocals over Chuck Moseley's (heard on their previous album "Introduce Yourself"). Patton would only agree to sign the contract if he could continue to record and perform with his other band, the highly experimental and adventurous Mr. Bungle. I will cover them another day. So Warner Brothers agreed to let Mike Patton do both and signed Mr. Bungle as well. Patton would add an adventurous, uglier, and darker side to Faith No More's music once he began to contribute to the song writing. Listen to their follow up album from 1992 "Angel Dust" (also to be reviewed later) and you will hear the difference.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, "The Real Thing". It is full of hooks, a bit on the pop side at times, but it maintains it's heaviness and sincerity. A song I'm sure all of you know off of this one is "Epic". It was a huge hit, but there are several other knockout tracks. "Falling to Pieces", "From Out of Nowhere", and "Underwater Love" are some of my favorites. Give this album a listen. It's not as deep as their later efforts, but it's still well worth your time and money.

Here's "From Out of Nowhere"...

..and here's a live version of "Falling to Pieces". Enjoy.

1 comment:

ShenaniTims said...

Interesting. Most blame soon-to-be-departed guitarist Jim Martin for "Angel Dust"'s darker theme. He was the metal one, after all.

I think I might be the only Faith No More hoping they don't record a new album; given to how phoned-in Patton's performance on "Album of the Year" was. (Though I always held his work on Tomahawk's "Mit Gas" might be the closest we'd ever get to him recording another Faith No More-sounding album.)