Friday, November 27, 2020

Faith No More: Do you often sing or whistle, just for fun?

The first time I see Faith No More, they don't do much for me. It's the video for Epic playing on Ready To Roll, one early Saturday night in 1990, and even with that funky bass, I can't get past the squelch of Patton's voice.

Then a bunch of happy religious nutters come to the high school and do their singing and dancing about how we should say no to drugs and live the good life and blah blah blah, and then they do a ridiculously stonking version of We Care A Lot, and that's where it starts, man. I'm on board for life.

By the time I'm in my first job out of school, Angel Dust was on the walkman a lot, around the factory where I worked, on the long bike ride home, in the shitty first car I ever owned, I listen to it everywhere. Every song just fucking cranks and makes life a lot cooler. The blasting energy of Land of Sunshine, the soaring rage of Everything's Ruined and the gothic schoolgirl fun of Be Aggressive, these are the soundtrack to my life.

Then we all go out flatting and I meet and live with people who dig Faith No More just as much as I do, and we all get drunk as fuck and annoy the shit out of our poor neighbors by playing the War Pigs cover at top volume, cranking the Mr Bungle during a Sunday afternoon barbecue in the sun.


And when FNM get even groovier, I'm into it, watching Evidence in the first flat in a new town in the middle of the night, the tune for a special kind of aching loneliness that only lasts a few weeks. I get a job as an admin for a place where people can learn music cheap, and get caught by one of the centre's founders cranking up King For A Day in the office and he's a super music snob and I think he's going to tear me a new one, but then he spends 20 minutes raving about the beauty of Roddy Bottum's keyboards.

After a few years, Faith No More go away on a particularly crooning vibe, but I never stop listening And when they come back with Sol Invicitus, it's like they've never been away. I get it with a wince, scared of decrepit old Dad rock, and it's a legitimately great album with strong hooks and heavy riffs. Cone Of Shame has all I want in a Faith No More song, several decent tunes in one, soaring to heights on the back of Patton's vocals, and then going one higher with the chunkiest of chunky guitars. 

We see them live a couple of years ago and the wife comes along, and she thinks they're fine. But I'm in heaven when they open with one of their groovy covers and don't come back until after the encore. I was meant to see them again this year, but Covid fucked that, and all those old flatmates formed a support group on social media to help get through the lockup and bitch about missing the show.

Because the Faith No More show is always worth seeing, especially with your best friends.

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