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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

NME | May 30th 1992

Wake Up It's Trim To Die

Gavin Martin

"You guys should be round the corner watching Sepultura. C'mon, what's your excuse?" 

Goateed singer Mike Patton, skatepunk bum turned beatnik geek, is having an on/off Yugoslavian type war with the stage-divers. They come in droves, thrusting themselves past him and into the sweat box moshpit in elegant tumbles and feet-first stumbles. Adopting a wishful moniker for a pre-Guns N'Roses stadium tour support warm-up, Faith No More are back in their natural habitat and the divers' bastard choreography adds the right touch. This is a group whose wayward spirit hasn't been settled by success and who are still capable of turning tables and remoulding the basest of Metal component parts. 

The Faith That Kills goad and taunt their audience, telling them: one, to pull a fire alarm or call a bomb-scare if they go to see their shows with Axl and Co; (Alex says: any of you who have the bootleg of the band at Wembley that month, maybe this might explain why Patton asks 'How many of you phoned in bomb threats today' at the beginning of The Real Thing?) two, the address of their hotel for an after-show party; and three, that among special guests waiting backstage is a very pissed off Rodney King. In between they unleashed a lacerating, pounding musical blitzkrieg that showed they ascribed to no rules and were headed for the outer limits with renewed fervour. 

Their set starts with a sampled heartbeat turned to ear-bleeding volume, steadily increasing, until, by the time this eccentric bunch take the stage, you feel there's some defiantly martial rite being enacted. Haircuts No More take this keynote, run it into their songs and pummel, scour and batter it to death throughout their set. Central to their modus operandi is drummer Mike Bordin, king hell Teutonic tribal beatmaster, whose exploding heartbeat polyrhythmic thrashing defines the path taken by his cohorts. 

Bordin's beat is the detonating force that blows the songs apart, the recurring calamity that holds them together. By turns hysterically funny, queasily obscene, inflamed, scizoid and shocking, Faith No More are the most futuristic, bowdlerising Metal force for the '90s. Fuelled by testosterone madness and showing versatility as a kind of Tom Waits from MTV high school hell, Patton's characterisations get caught in doom and bile-filled terror trips. The guy mightn't be much of a singer (?-Alex), but his vocals capture a well of feeling in a furious stream of high-pitched yells, screams, moand and larynx shrapnel. 

They ended with the house lights on, inviting their good friends (FACT) Right Said Fred up onstage. But the Freddies weren't 'In the house' so they lived dangerously by using the none-too-amused skinhead bouncers as stand-in props. The guy they singled out as Michael Bolton wouldn't join them either, despite the memorable protestation ("C'mon Michael, we know you got soul"). 

Then it was time to go home. Patton smiled, waved goodbye; "Goodnight, and remember - smoke crack," he said. And they were gone.

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