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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Metal Hammer | March 1995


Pippa Lang

FAITH No More. as we know, have no problems with inhibitions. In fact. it's become their privilege to take risks. but how does any band gain maturity if, at the time, they need to retain that sense of reckless adolescence? Hear 'King For A Day...Fool For A Lifetime' and you might just grasp the method.

On this, the Jim Martin-less FNM have almost reached an indefinable peak when a band becomes a slave to its own eclectic talents because it's too easy not to. Although there's something disappointing about the first two tracks - 'Get Out' is straightforward, rapid-fire FNM heaviness, 'Ricochet' a predictable FNM clone start with the smooth, smoochy in its own right?

This venture into the outer limits of FNM's musicality disturbing to say the least - if you thought 'I'm Easy' was a one-off, you were wrong! But disturbing is what FNM are, and there's plenty to feed the deranged brain, whilst also realising that the band have become almost too smart for their own good. They are probably capable of anything.

Although 'King For A Day.. .Fool For A Lifetime' may not be as ugly as 'Angel Dust', there is always Mike Patton's penchant for gibbering lunacy.

When he goes for it, he goes for it in fine. ahem, angel dust for 'Cuckoo For Caca'. On tracks like this and the totteringly mad 'Ugly In The Morning' (and, as a reference point, most of 'Angel Dust'), Panon turns into a non-repentant, almost cruel and wholly malevolent child. But unlike 'Angel Dust', there is much more to 'King For A Day..' than that.

So FNM have retained their inimitable sense of mischief, but the ease with which they pivot from one genre to the next boasts a maturity that they may not have been able to achieve with Jim Martin. Would Martin, for example, have approved of the smooth Mehicano pastiche this is 'Caralho Voador', with Patton's sexy-in-a-cabaret sort-of-way vocals? Or the smoochy 'Just A Man'? Probably not. It appears that Patton, in particular, has spread his wings magnificently since Martin's departure, turning from Tom Waits into Warren Zevon - from the blackest white voice you've ever heard into the smoothest crooner this side of Engelbert Humperdinck.

Martin would probably have wholeheartedly supported the syrupy, Sabbath-esque 'The Last To Know' and the almost Queensrychian drama of 'Digging The Dirt'. But both these two, excellent in their FNM styling that they are, are not the band's that collective brain of theirs, how could they possibly sit still?

With a vocalist who will end up being compared to Ozzy Osbourne and Tom Waits in eccentricity, and a musicality that's fast turning them into recognised 'musos', FNM are of serious interest not just to our genre, but to all genres.

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