On June 20th 1989 Faith No More released their third album and the first with Mike Patton.....The Real Thing.
'An absolute barnstormer of an album from start to finish' - Metal Forces
'It's the real thing and it takes some beating!' - Album of the year 1989 Kerrang!
Kerrang! | Issue 242 | June 10th 1989
Teach The World To Thing
Hell, Faith No More have done it again and produced a fully-fledged rock pigeon which refuses to be put in a hole. Effectively mixing disparate styles, 'The Real Thing' alternately gets your foot tapping, head nodding and backbone shivering.
The diverse and unconventional - in rock - rhythms of drummer Mike Bordin and funky bass of Bill Gould are expertly blended with the crunchy rock guitar of Jim Martín.
As such, this album follows in the footsteps of '88's 'Introduce Yourself but with an overall slicker and tighter sheen.
In Mike Patton they seem to have found a fitting vocalist, both musically and personality- wise. I guess however much I miss Chuck Mosley's style and haircut, his voice did grate just a teeny bit now and then, and if the band are happier now so much the better.
Though whether the band's new-found professionalism is due to Chuck's departure and less 'inner conflicts' or just a natural progression I wouldn't know.
As usual, expect the unexpected. From the rock-out of single 'From Out Of Nowhere' through 'Surprise! You're Dead' - a real tight Hardcore Metal Thrash with class - to quick-slow instrumental 'Woodpecker From Mars' they always keep you on your toes.
Then there s the hard-hitting rap/rock of 'Epic', and 'Zombie Eaters' which lulls you at the start as an acoustic love song with soaring keyboards (hi Derek!), but in true FNM or Metallica style jerks you to life with menace and aggression, it's around this point on the album that the 17 universes really do intersect for me. And don't forget the teasing build-ups and off-beat rhythms (again) on 'The Real Thing'.
My personal niggle with the FNM sound is the keyboards, courtesy Roddy Bottum, for instance on the title track and the bubbling 'Underwater Love', though that's not to say you won't love 'em - and it's certainly not enough for me to drop that last kerrlassic K. And
just as I get to thinking they've lost that raw edge, that urgency and roughness I loved about 'introduce Yourself, they kick back and shut me up.
Watch out for two extra tracks on the CD and cassette versions - a phenomenal cover of 'War Pigs' and a laid-back ambling swing with plonking piano and nasal 'Edge Of The World'.
It's the Real Thing and it takes some beating.
Obscure No More
No longer just a cult favorite, Faith No More and their intelligent brand of metal are seeping into the pop consciousness. If you asked Axl Rose, Metallica's James Hetfíeld or even Def Leppard vocalist Joe Elliot, they'd tell you that the future of rock is Faith No More. Their trademark blend of metal power riffs and textured arrangements, embellished with tasteful rap vocals, has made this San Francisco Bay Area quintet one of the most critically acclaimed outfits of 1990. And now that their latest release. The Real Thing, is gaining mass acceptance—over 100,000 units sold at press time— Faith No More have become a force to be reckoned with.
They've certainly come a long way since their origins as Faith No Man, a forgettable early-80s post-punk ensemble indebted to the Killing Joke/Chrome school of sonic assault. With the addition of sicko axeman Jim Martin and then vocalist Chuck Mosley, they altered the name, and released We Care A Lot, their 1985 debut album on the indie Mordam label. This led to their consequent signing with Bob Biggs' Slash Records, and 87's Introduce Yourself LP, which featured a reworking of "We Care A Lot," FNM's first and only foray into new wave dance 12-inch hell.
Despite magnificent press (NME, Sounds, Kerrang! cover stories) and solid fan base, Faith No More seemed relegated to cult status. After Mosley's eventual departure because of long-standing personal problems, the band—Martin, drummer Mike Bordin, bassist Bill Gould and keyboard player Roddy Bottum—hooked up with heartthrob crooner Mike Patton, best known as the voice behind a juvenile, Chili Peppers-inspired outfit called Mr. Bungle.
This past year has been a whirlwind for Faith No More. On the road virtually nonstop since May 89—highlighted by a West Coast arena jaunt supporting Metallica, and a three-month nationwide tour with Voivod and Soundgarden—Faith No More have finally achieved popular appeal and industry respect (as evidenced by their recent Grammy nomination).
FNM's popularity has a lot to do with their long-standing relationship with Metallica. The connection goes back to high school, where Bordin and Martin were close friends of the late Cliff Burton (who died tragically in a 1987 tour bus accident), jamming together and turning young Cliff on to cool punk bands like the Dictators and the Misfits: many say this is where Metallica's interest in punk began. Coupled with the fact that Hetfield donned an FNM Tshirt on the back cover photo of their Garage Days Revisited EP, the wheels for Faith domination were set in motion.
Via AT+T, I asked Jim Martin, in London on the set of (and before their lip-sync performance on) "Top of the Pops"—Great Britain's answer to "American Bandstand"—and on the eve of
their sold-out show at the prestigious Hammersmith Odeon, to explain FNM's recent surge to rock glory. "It started out small, and has gotten large," he said. "And it looks like if it gets the right food, it'll get even bigger."