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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Raw | March 1995

Fool's Gold

4.5 out of 5

It's never boring with Faith No More. Only they would sack somebody as popular as 'Big

Sick Ugly' Jim Martin and appoint a replacement without thinking to ask him whether or not he likes touring, but that's the nature of the beast.

Although the fivesome's last album, 'Angel Dust', smacked of eccentricity for eccentricity's sake, at least it proved that the incredible success of 'The Real Thing' was no fluke, and that they had something of genuine interest to say.

 'King For A Day ...' isn't as elaborate as its predecessor and, as an entire body of work, transpires to be less heavy than '... Dust' or '... Thing' - although it does have plenty of individual moments of gut-wrenching intensity. The pacy, rhythmic 'Get Out' is a rousing opener, blasting in and straight out again in two minutes and 14 seconds; no fuss or flab, just Mike Patton's inimitable bellow and some fiery guitar. The guitars, keyboards and dense backing vocals mesh together magnificently during 'Ricochet', before 'Evidence' steps down several gears, Patton crooning delicately over Roddy Bottum's entrancing keyboard work and a guitar that laps at the listener's earlobes like a wave on a Pacific island. Mmmm ... soothing. Unlike "The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies', which features a crisp, driving riff that Metallica would be proud of. 'Star A.D.' is also pretty off-the wait, incorporating a delicious silver toned guitar, what sounds like the horn section from hell and some bizarre jungle chants. But, unbelievably, it works!

If 'Star...' is a little on the strange side, 'Cuckoo For Caca' is absolutely f**king deranged. A

bone-crunching riff gives way to some insane hollering during the verses, then to totally unintelligible gibbering at the chorus. And later, during 'Ugly In The Morning', Patton escalates into even more unfeasibly lunatic bouts of shouting, working himself up into a lather over a crazy, spiralling riff.

Having seemingly reached the zenith of insanity, the band quietly retreat within their straight jacket for 'Caralho Voador', which sees Patton mumbling gently in Portuguese to some lounge lizard' organ accompaniment. 'Digging The Grave' is probably far more what FNM fans crave, adding a hint of melody to the usual primal ferocity. Likewise, 'What A Day', which could almost be a an outtake from 'The Real Thing'. However, crammed in-between this pair comes 'Take This Bottle', a dirge-like ditty that would threaten even Pearl Jam on the Gloom-o-meter.

So thank heavens for the deliciously sedate title track, which is best described by its ; working title of 'Acoustic Groove', but which features a lead vocal that sounds like that bald pillock from Right Said Fred! 'The Last To Know' also holds back on the throttle, giving!

Trey Spruance the room for some chunky guitar chords, and even to rip out a Hendrix-style solo. Indeed, the closing track, 'Just A Man', shows how Jim Martin's departure has realty . allowed the band to stretch out. Brilliantly structured, with nary a power chord in sight, it's one of the band's finest moments.

So FNM survive Big Jim's departure and emerge an equally angry, but certainly a better disciplined unit. Did anyone expect  any different?!

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