Faith No More - The Pyramid Centre portsmouth, March 2nd 1995
Faith No More officially began their tour of King For A Day Fool For A Lifetime in the UK twenty five years ago
RAW Magazine | Issue 171 | March 1995 Childish by Neil Jeffries WEIRD. REALLY. Weirder than usual, even. A lighting stand that falls over. A keyboard gremlin. A guitar gremlin. But weirdest of all, a singer seemingly hell bent on self-destruction. And no, I'm not talking about his periodic bouts of shadow-wrestling when he throws himself to the stage ... I refer instead to his point-blank and increasingly irritating refusal to sing properly. Based on the evidence of Faith No More's sublime new album, King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime, I'd expected the band to have reached a new level of on-stage maturity. The music has grown up, so why not the band? In truth, the band has, but the singer remains as childish as ever. Which is a bloody shame because Faith No More are good enough to stand out without someone impersonating the sound of a small monkey being used as a football for 90 percent of the set. It perfectly suits opener Cuckoo For Caca - you can't imagine someone like Placido Domingo singing the chorus 'Shit... Lives -. Forever!' anywhere near as convincingly as Patton - but it soon becomes an unnecessary distraction. Time and again Mike Bordin, therefore becomes the focal point. The rock on which FNM is built, an absolutely peerless drummer, his kit should really have been set up in front of Patton's mic to teach the singer a lesson. Six years of barking like a dog, and screaming like a banshee hasn't actually ruined his voice. ( Take This Bottle - wherein he turned lounge lizard and ordered a Campari and soda - was magnificent.) But too often he yelled where once he would have sung. Hey, call me old fashioned, but I like to hear the words... New guy Dean Menta, all in black, is very intense about his Les Paul, rocking backwards and forwards from left heel to right toe, concentrating hard on the machine heads. He doesn't do a lot - but then again, if you cast your mind back, neither did Jim Martin unless you count dribbling beer. Menta breathes new life into the Angel Dust songs and makes them sound a lot less fraught than they did three years ago. He may be virtually inaudible for most of Easy (slotted in after We Care A Lot) but whacks out That Solo note-for-note and on it - and The Real Thing material - Jim Martin's guitar is not missed at all. Nobody, of course, missed Trey Spruance either, and it's a great shame that its his, not Menta's guitar you'll hear on the soon-to-be released album. They play exactly half of it but interrupted with just enough more familiar material to prevent any audience impatience. Mr Lighting Man's patience is tried in the middle of newie The Last To Know. The lighting stand beside Menta does a dead faint, its lights still blazing as it draws a slow lazy arc forward and just fails to brain anyone in the audience because hands reach up to catch it. Patton has a theory: "Oh shit! This is trouble!"
The number grinds to a halt and Bill asks if anyone is hurt. Apparently not. Roddy therefore claims it was part of the show. Bill warms to the theme: "Yeah! Did you see the little bomb go off?" Mike: "Just like Metallica!" If nothing else, the accident puts Menta in the spotlight. He, too, gets blamed for knocking it over, but gets a name check and a cheer. Ice, but no bones, broken. The set is short - just 55 minutes - but they return to play The Crab Song, newie Evidence and Epic, and again, unexpectedly, specifically another shot at the truncated The Last To Know. A fine end but overall, a weirdly unsatisfying night and very unlikely to win them many new fans.
Kerrang! | 536 | March 1995
Digging A Grave ?! by Mark Blake
Fans narrowly escape injury as Faith No More kick off UK club tour! More petulant Patton antics as the Bay Area bruisers blast out eclectic new material!
PLENTY OF chirpy asides to the audience can't deflect the wave of polite disinterest that greets opening act Shihad. Still unknown in the UK, the New Zealanders' scattergun delivery of numbing riffs fail to win over tonight's crowd. Undeterred, they grin and crack jokes, while singer Jon Toogood demonstrates an impressive 360-degree headbang.
Shame, then, that Shihad's winning cocktail of Killing Joke and Sepultura is not to everyone's taste.
One punter jokingly enquires whether Mike Patton will be eating his shit onstage tonight, such is the notoriety of Faith No More's singer's supposed dietary habits. Ironically, the headliners make their battering ram entrance with Cuckoo For Caca, from the new King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime album. The song is a moshpit pleaser, but in all honesty it's also... er, shite. In contrast to such a throwaway opener, Be Aggressive jars the senses
brilliantly, a trick repeated by Midlife Crisis and The Real Thing. Then things take another nosedive.
On numerous occasions, Patton stops singing and utters a sound akin to a water buffalo receiving a nuclear warhead suppository. The crowd winces and looks bored. Pacing the stage in circles, the singer only acknowledges his surroundings when a lighting tower topples into the audience, thankfully without any disastrous consequences. The tetchiness and prickly persona is part of Patton's undoubted appeal, but his dismissive onstage performance is really wearing thin. Nobody here wants or expects cheesy platitudes and a text-book vocal delivery, but at times the singer's attitude stinks of disinterest and sheer arrogance.
As the rest of Faith No More slide irrevocably towards middle age, perhaps Patton feels the need to offset his partners' increasing years and musical bravura by remaining the caterwauling surf brat, bellowing over the old hits and snubbing his audience just to keep them on their toes. It's just a theory, but with new guitarist Dean Menta in the place of the undeniably very Metal Jim
Martin, FNM now look strangely respectable, and there's a force of delivery in this band's overall sound that just wasn't there on the last tour. The set itself is shrewdly loaded with familiar items to off-set against the new material. But Digging The Grave and Evidence, in particular, are ideal bedfellows for From Out Of Nowhere, Easy, We Care A Lot and an encore of the Chuck Mosley era track The Crab Song
Predictably, the spooky fairground keyboard and juddering rhythm of Epic reminds you that, however much Patton fluffs his lines, it's still one of the most exhilarating Rock songs of the last 10 years.
Brilliant, but often brilliantly bad, Faith No More are as frustrating as ever.
Metal Hammer | April 1995
Ferocious Neurosis by Andy Stout
AND so the bubbling, bickering mass of neuroses that is Faith No More descends on Portsmouth, a city already quite neurotic enough, thank you very much. FNM are loud, uncompromising, eventful and ultimately hollow. A while into their set, part of the lighting rig slams down into the audience. Luckily no-one was hurt.. .
But before all that happens you got Shihad. Shihad probably are the future - a mass of
jagged, angular rhythms bathed in luridly executed guitar. Despite a huge catalogue of influences, there's a sparseness to Shihad.
Everything's been boiled down and reduced to its most basic components and then reassembled into a weighty, throbbing beastie with fire in its belly. They're exuberant, loud, and probably intelligent enough to get a crossover with the indie crowd. If there is justice in the world (and they leave off the Bowie covers), Shihad will be huge.
Faith No More are huge, but are they still the future? Not really. Yes, they have one of the tightest rhythm sections in the business, and yes, Mike Patton is still a great front man, but in a lot of ways they seem to have lost direction. Their set is aggression incarnate. Be
Aggressive and Midlife Crisis are spat out with savage ferocity, Epic is the classic it always has been, but underneath the bombast it's all gone stale. No longer at the cutting edge, FNM are becoming one-dimensional. Their hostility is still intact, but the sense of witnessing Something new and exciting has all but disappeared.
Bands like this have to he constantly evolving and FNM simply aren't. From neuroses to Alzheimer's can be a frighteningly short journey.