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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Raw | December 23rd 1992 | Issue 113


Brixton Academy, London


VERDICT: The (sur)real thing!



HAVING RECEIVED a heroine's welcome, L7 ripped into a 30-minute set which oscillated between the brilliant and the bizarre. 'Scrap', 'Shitlist and 'Pretend We're Dead' all smacked the bullseye, interwoven with other goings-on that provoked bewilderment. Twice they introduced a song by San Francisco band Frightwig only to scream the headliners' We Care A Lot over the tune of Metallica's 'Enter Sandman', whilst Donita Sparks spent most of the time roaring "It's been a horrible year". Still, the foursome made a strong impression and, as always seems to be the case, were mightily entertaining

If L7 had raised the odd eyebrow then Faith No More sent the shock-o-meter soaring; they persisted with their cover of the Commodores' 'Easy' yet excluded 'From Out Of Nowhere', played nine cuts from 'Angel Dust' and only four from 'The Real Thing', then reeled off an encore full of oddities.

From the off they flouted convention by skipping onstage to a Disco version of Europe's 'The Final Countdown' before lining up for a quick bout of aerobics! As 'Caffeine' got down to business it became clear that vocalist Mike Patton is more comfortable with the new songs, perhaps feeling that he is able to express himself more freely on material like the outstanding 'Land Of Sunshine'. Whilst this boosted stuff from 'Angel Dust', the older songs suffered badly. 'Falling To Pieces' and Surprise! You're Dead were reduced to meandering rants with no apparent direction; only 'Chinese Arithmetic' really seemed to belong.

At least the component parts of the band were, as ever, quite magnificent. Mike Bordin laied down some quite monstrous drums on 'The Crab Song' and then combined with Bill Gould's bludgeoning bass to give 'Epic' a brutal flavour. Roddy Bottum added some impeccable subtlety with great swirls of keyboards on 'Land Of Sunshine' and the bar-room piano of the wonderful 'RV'. complementing Patton's Tom Waits-style growl and Jim Martin's kitsch guitar lines.

The crowd's reaction suggested they too were a little confused - certainly on the way out of The Academy little enthusiasm could be heard. That Faith No More are now a big fish in the Rock pond is not open to question. Whether their chosen path will match their followers' expectations is unfortunately a matter of conjecture.

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