FAITH NO MORE | 22.01.1988 | Dingwalls

kerrang! | Issue 174 | 13.021988 | Chris Watts
Faith No More | Dingwalls | 22.01.1988

STRANGE. FAITH No More would love you to think them
incompetent. They would love me to denounce them as goo goo doll deviants who don't really belong in this Rock 'n' Roll circus. Strange, then, that Faith No More belong. Tonight is satisfying if unspectacular London Records are out in force and probably think the world shifted on its axis. Cover stories, major label releases, critics' choice.. Faith No More have arrived. The Dingewalls (sic) crowd give the band two numbers of cold shoulder before letting loose. The sound is horrendous. Perfect. 'We care a lot about you people, about your guns, About the wars you're fighting.' Faith No More would never admit to caring about you and me but they do. Their rhythms - gutter grebo rhythms - are battered mercilessly before you and me. For our benefit. Maybe you weren't there? Too bad. Let's face it - Chuck Mosley cannot sing. Fact of life. Sometimes his Beastie Boy rap wail  can grate on the nerves. Perfect. Stripped to the waist, mohican dribbling over his head, 36 Chuck is OK. Don't worry 'bout him. He's having a ball. Around him the band look sloppy-tight with the nonchalance of the professional. These slapping bass assaults could smash bottles at your local disco dance. The drums could tear down your hairspray. Keyboards add a texture to 'We Care A Lot' and 'New Beginnings' but the evening belongs to James B. Martin.
One man and his Flying V. Marshall amp in the shadows. Very rock'n' roll. Martin plays guitar like you Just wished Blue Oyster Cult would again. Red Framed glasses beneath his redneck mopstack. He has no delusions, no arrogance, but Christ can he play? ("Yes" - JC)
They betray their origins with bursts of the great. The climax to 'Stairway To Heaven' is inserted like a thumb up your nose. The crowd wave their hands because they understand the Joke. Faith No More and Led Zeppelin? Er, you really had to be there. The encores are sweet. A dream. "A great song," says Billy Gould. They've just crucified Bon Jovi's 'Wanted Dead Or Alive' I think Billy's serious. "Hey, man, what f**kin' day is it?" lurches Jim and you know Faith No More are a little drunk and plenty intoxicated. There's a little blonde scrap standing on the stage furiously facing Jim and he smiles. So much attention to these Atlanta racketeers? They leave in a film of sweat. The sound never improves and Chuck never really sung a note. If it's Metal then you could just die laughing. If Faith No More are a little more important then you may well be on the right track. "You've been a great audience. An ugly audience, but still a great audience!"

Strange band.


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