We need to talk about Faith No More

Full disclosure: I refuse to talk yet again about Spotify and/or Taylor Swift. It’s boring. It’s really boring. All this visual hand-wringing and mud-slinging masks the fact that nobody is actually doing anything about it. It’s currently all bluster; it may not stay this way but for now we’re merely killing time in the seventies, waiting for the fuse to light. There’s little substance to be had.

Full disclosure: It was my birthday last week and though I really, really want to start getting festive; it still feels a little early for Jethro Tull (but it’s coming..).

Full disclosure: I’m now going to write about my favourite band because I can.

Faith No More. You must have heard of them. You simply must have. They blot out the sky in contorted, inky hues. Ok, ok; maybe I’m getting a bit fan-boy but in the right (surprisingly varied) circles their name holds serious currency. I’d go so far as to call them the epitome of the Alternative. Alternative-metal? Yup; the epitome. Alternative-rock? Yup; the epitome. Alternative-Lounge? Obvs! Now, ‘journalistically’ speaking, it’s always best to neatly list examples in threes; it scans much better on the page. But for FNM (as I shall now refer to them) it goes so much deeper to include alternative takes on Gospel, Soul and, probably most famously, Rap. A whole career built on a sole principle: subvert your audience. It’s punk. Proper punk. Maybe not how you’d expect but it’s something purer of spirit than all the mohicans of Camden. The ultimate freedom of the middle finger.

And like charming schoolboys, they get away with it. The music functions and flows in a manner that belies their talent. Serious talent. The world raises Mike Patton on the highest dais and it is much deserved. Quite how a nasal teen with a penchant for scat humour matured into this multilingual crooner is beside the point. It happened; he’s a visionary. But they are all visionaries. They needed to be. Mashing heavy rock/metal guitar over dream-pop keyboards was always going to produce something special and we’re blessed with the fact that the result was actually good! Ah. Sorry. That was a bit fan-boy again; I’ll ratchet it back in. But for the record; I was always a Billy fan. [Note: I have been told to make clear that Billy is the bass player]

                                 This man plays bass

A couple of years ago my sisters saw them live and I missed it; I was in India. It was the reunion show I’d been hoping for since I was 15 and I missed it. No amount of Youtube plays can make up for that. They then started playing more shows around the world in a quasi-farewell style. And then more shows. And then an instagram started. And then quite softly I began to hear that maybe; just maybe this was more permanent than we first thought. They weren’t just back for a few performances; they were going to do it properly; there was to be new material. Ipecac records then went and put this slab of sound on the interweb and I went a little googly around the knees.

It’s the second time an artist that means this much to me has defied my expectations to release new music and if I must compare FNM to Bowie (which I will as it was my birthday); FNM win. The Next Day was a solid effort but we’re not comparing albums and ‘Where Are We Now’ was just a little bland. It was nothing new and worryingly began to paint this picture of slightly dull reflection found throughout it’s parent album. ‘Motherfucker’, as to be expected, subverts. I mean, if you saw that title as the returning single from an ostensibly metal band after a creative hiatus of 17 years; you’d expect something immediate and punchy and full on. Nope. You’ve been misled. But it’s a good nope. Ooh, such a good nope. A nope of ambient pulses; four note bass pedals; martial drumming; pop harmonies and the sweetest chorus melody since ever. Well maybe not ‘ever’, that was just the fan-boy talking, but it’s still pretty damn sweet. We even get a classic Billy Gould ‘chong-chong-chong-chong’ bass line at the end. I grew up with those ‘chong-chong-chong-chong’ bass lines and, though I don’t like looking backwards; it’s quite nice when the now glows in such familiar shades.

So FNM are back and because I’m wringing my new age for all I can get; here’s a song to listen to to get yourself pumped for April 2015. Because when this album arrives it will likely be all I reference for a good year or so. Nothing else will matter. Smiley face. 🙂

      Caffeine: Because if you must write about drug addiction, make it original.

So simple; so neat. This is hardly scratching anything, let alone a ‘surface’ but that’s for you to discover. A truly awesome, inspiring and free band. This new album is going to be mega. I. Can’t. Wait.


3 thoughts on “We need to talk about Faith No More

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