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14 reasons why I fucking love Faith No More

19 May, 2015 — by Christopher Ratcliff5

Mike-Patton-Faith-No-More

Faith No More’s wilful disregard of what a mainstream rock band “ought to do” is one of their most heroic qualities. Despite practically inventing rap-metal more than 30 years ago, the Californian five-piece moved effortlessly from face-melting metal aggression, to bossa-nova, to jazz-funk, to a Commodores cover without a single apology, all the while never straying too far from a pop melody.

After Faith No More went their separate ways in 1998, a decade passed before the band realised they had much more to give, and after touring for half-a-decade they released their seventh album this week, the superb Sol Invictus, easily one of the best albums of the year so far, that again sees them doing whatever the fuck they want to do.

Faith No More have been one of my favourite bands in the world for the longest amount of time and in honour of their return, I fawningly present…

14 reasons why Faith No More are so goddamn wonderful

1) As a 15 year-old, seeing Faith No More tear apart Top of the Pops with a furious rendition of ‘Digging a Grave’ was about the best thing I had ever seen on television in my entire young life. 20 years later it still is.

 

2) Mike Patton’s vocal-range that stretches from louche carousing, to soaring classic rock, to spitting punk without a pause for breath. And that’s just when he’s at his most accessible, other times it’s something altogether inhuman. Did you know Mike Patton provided all the zombie screams for Will Smith’s I Am Legend? No Shit. Anyway, Patton’s vocals are particularly effecting in ‘Ashes to Ashes’, showing off his tremulous baritone and deeply emotive howl in equally moving ways.

 

3) No other band deploys a cover version quite as masterfully as Faith No More. From the gorgeous ‘Midnight Cowboy’ theme featured on Angel Dust, to Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’, to The Bee Gees’ ‘I Started a Joke’ recorded as a B Side for ‘Digging a Grave’, plus all the various surprise goodies Faith No More like to drop randomly in to their live shows…

 

4) The lyric “it’s always funny until someone gets hurt and then it’s just hilarious” from ‘Ricochet’.

 

5) The legitimate use of megaphone as microphone alternative.

faith no more megaphone

6) ‘Evidence’ is the coolest thing ever recorded by five white men with guitars.

 

7) All hail Billy Gould’s exquisitely inventive bass. See above.

8) Despite it being one of Angel Dust’s best tracks, the video to ‘Everything’s Ruined’ is hilariously shit.

 

9) ‘Just a Man’ is quite the most beautiful and deranged work ever recorded by a rock band, taking in Sinatra style crooning, gospel backing, a melodramatically delivered spoken-word passage and possibly one of the most stirring choruses ever created by the band. And yet by some miracle of ingenuity it completely works.

 

10) The dying fish and exploding piano from the end of the video to ‘Epic’ basically summed up an entire generation’s worth of MTV’s 120 Minutes viewing.

 

11) ‘Midlife Crisis’ basically soundtracked my entire youth. Although to this day I still don’t really understand what “your menstruating heart ain’t bleeding enough for two” means.

 

12) Keyboardist Roddy Bottum just wrote an opera. An opera about a sasquatch. It’s called Sasquatch: The Musical. According to Experiments in Opera, The story is about a small town family’s ‘Bigfoot Tours’ and the fallout when their daughter runs away with the real Sasquatch. Part folklore, part love story, the opera follows the demise of the family and a taboo love affair that blossoms in its aftermath.

 

 

13) The fact that after an 18 year absence from recording new material, Faith No More can come back with something as brilliant as ‘Superhero’, a song that is everything you love about Faith No More rolled into one perfect track. Unfettered aggression, ridiculously portentous piano, deep driving guitars, Patton’s vocals moving from a scream to a seductive call, all the while entirely melodic and endlessly inventive.

 

14) They looked just as fucking stupid as you did growing up.

faith no more the early years

To finish, here are 20 of Faith No More’s very best songs in one handy playlist:

Follow Christopher on Twitter: Christophe_Rock

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14 reasons why I fucking love Faith No More
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Faith No More have been my favourite band for decades, and their wilful disregard of what a mainstream rock band "ought to do" is their most heroic quality.
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5 comments

    • Christopher Ratcliff

      15 July, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Ah, the Judgement Night soundtrack! That was the 2nd CD I ever bought (after Angel Dust) and my god how I love it still.

      • Russell Todd

        17 July, 2015 at 11:57 am

        A mate and I fell out over who first saw a vinyl copy of it in Kelly’s Records in Cardiff years ago. He won. I only ever had it on copied tape. Until I found it on reconditioned CD in Poundland two days before last Xmas. No other pressie came close

  • Paul

    11 August, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I agree with all of these and really enjoyed reading this!

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