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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

NME | September 2009



Emily Mackay

We're here in the tent," grins Mike Patton wolfishly, red lights glinting off the diamanté trim on his Mephistophelean scarlet suit. "Fuck all the rest of them."

Outsiders even in their glorious cash-racking comeback, Faith No More have always been an anomaly. Smarter, sexier and funnier than Rage Against The Machine or Red Hot Chili Peppers, they were the alt. metal act who were really fucking alt. No genre is safe from this band, no expectation either: rather than blast onstage - big comeback! - they sidle softly through their cover of the theme from Midnight Cowboy. Then they play 'From Out Of Nowhere', and you're reminded in a rush that, however good Patton's subsequent experimentations in more avant-garde acts such as Fantômas and Peeping Tom might be, it's in this band that he found the perfected balance jocky mainstream and arty weirdness. 'Be Aggressive' sounds sensational, the thundering roll of Mike Bordin's drums taunted by the cheerleader-chant of the refrain. 'Epic', the thinking man's 'Killing In The Name', is maliciously magnificent, Patton's remarkable, freakishly versatile voice flicking from rich booming croon to bratty yowl to death-bark at the flick of a note. Then, in case it was just getting a little bit too retro-reverential, FNM slip in a brief-but-obviously meticulously rehearsed instrumental rendition of the EastEnders theme tune. You wouldn't get that from bloody Pearl Jam, would you?

The first time Patton, hamming it up, keeps a straight face. The second time those familiar plangent notes ring out, he can't help corpsing as the crowd shriek with laughter. He knows how totally ridiculous his band is. And he loves it.

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