The Real Thing, by Faith No More
Reviewed by Luke Kay
I’m familiar with Mike Patton (Bungle, Tomahawk, Dillinger) but before today, my only interaction with Faith No More was standing at the back for one of their shows at Download just to catch a glimpse of him in a short gap between other bands. The man is a legend. I should also preface this review by saying, this album is 5 years older than me – I wasn’t around in the 80s and feel I might not have the context to do this album justice.
It’s Patton’s first record with the band and, to me, it sounds like he’s relishing the opportunity to create something a little more mainstream from all across the spectrum. It’s got smudged clown-face-paint fingerprints all over it but it’s more restrained and probably more commercially viable than the rest of the works in the Bungleverse. At first, I was annoyed; Who were these new chumps playing in the background and why weren’t they as extreme as the other guys? but relinquishing my expectations, I released that this is actually just a big bundle of fun.
The album is really diverse, picking up themes from other genres I think were typical of the era.
There’s a bit of unevolved shoehorned synth, lots of funky-Flea bass, some of the tracks are straight up thrash bangers (‘Surprise! You’re Dead!’ is right up my alley). Then in Epic, Patton does a great job of the vocals on both halves of a homage to the RunDMC:Aerosmith collab filling Steve Tyler’s boots as seamlessly as his ah-dee-dus.
As if to stress that what the rest of Faith No More are doing is just as good; ‘Woodpecker from Mars’, the record’s lone instrumental track, mashes a bunch of these themes and is a surprising standout for me. ‘Zombie Eaters’ is just pre-bruce Maiden and then there’s an actual Sabbath cover.
Banger, Banger, Banger, Banger, Banger, Banger, Banger, Banger. If it’s not too bold of me, I would like to rechristen this album ‘Now That’s What I Call 80s Metal’, by Mike Patton ft Faith No More, because that’s exactly what it is.
It looks like Patton and the gang had a great time writing this record and, I admit, I had a great time listening to it. I’ll give it 8/10 and check out Angel Dust and King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime in the next few weeks. Thanks Randomiser, it’s been swell.
Craig’s project is ace but if you had asked me before I started this review what the main issue is, it’s that there isn’t enough new music on the list. Having gone back and listened to this album, I’ve realised that there is so much to be gained from reaching into the past and digging out the classics. Send me more recommendations in the comments.