It's been hard to fess up to Faith No More fandom the last couple of years.
First, guitar wiz Jim Martin took off after 1992's troubled Angel Dust,
followed by the too-close-for-comfort Commodores-covering 1993 Easy EP
and the acidic 1995 album King for a Day, Fool For a Lifetime, which
again asked fans to deal with a lot of ideas, some of them half-baked. And if
that wasn't enough, there was always singer Mike Patton's even more bizarre
side-project, Mr. Bungle, whose 1995 album Disco Volante and subsequent
masked tour, was close to the feeling of watching a car crash under slowly
So, with the turmoil behind them, another new guitarist,
John Hudson, and a new CD, Album of the Year (June 3) that signals a
musical return to the land of fruit and honey (i.e. 1989's hit album The
Real Thing), Faith No More seem poised to climb back from the career abyss.
The only question is, are the same fans who dug the Red Hot sound of their big
hit, "Epic" (you remember, the one with the flopping fish video) still around
The good news is the hard-hitting 12-track album is packed with
the same funk and metal sound that made Patton the rival to Anthony Keidis'
long-haired alternaguy pin-up throne all those years ago and the band the
darlings of the burgeoning alternative set, if only for a minute. The opening
track, "Collision," features a mix of Roddy Bottum's gothic keyboards, Hudson's
arena-metal guitars and Patton's growling croon, all of which adds up to what
their bastard offspring Korn might sound like if they didn't take themselves so
seriously and listened to a few Parliament albums. "Last Cup of Sorrow" is more
of the punk funk that brought them to the top the first time and the 2-minute
blast of "Naked In Front of the Computer" is one of the hardest, most coherent
burst of riffs and attitude the band have summoned since before Martin's
Ironically, "Path of Glory" features a refrain that might be
familiar to a few Korn fans, ("I'm coming, I'm coming," etc.) , while "Mouth To
Mouth" is plain old bruising funk rock with guitars that sound like dull drill
bits. Throw in a bit of soulful balladry on "She Loves me Not," the herky-jerky
surf punk of "Got That Feeling" the gothic groan of "Pristina" and the
spiraling industrial rock of the hidden track "Light Up & Let Go" and you've
got nearly an hour's worth of angst and attitude that falls somewhere between
Queensryche and a more metallic Jane's Addiction.