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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Vox | June 1992


Angel Dust

Paul Elliot

In the '90s, rock is changing-or at least, public tastes are changing. Nirvana's Nevermind has topped the US album chart and is now featured alongside Michael Bolton and George Michael in mail-order music club ads.

Freaky funk stylists the Red Hot Chill Peppers are all over American MTV and radio, as are Seattle rockers Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. Speed metal brats Metallica are a part of the establishment. Granted, Def Leppard recently topped the US Billboard Hot 200, but lately, some pretty weird bands have burst into rock's mainstream-so many that it's become difficult to define mainstream rock.

These days, a million-selling hard rock act doesn't necessarily mean Bon Jovi. It could just as easily mean Faith No More.

The release of Angel Dust, the San Franciscans fourth album, could not have been better timed. Kids who've been grooving to Nevermind for the past six months and are looking for a soundtrack to the summer need wait no longer. Angel Dust has the potential to be huge, perhaps the rock record of the year. It's both idiosyncratic and accessi-ble, crazy and cohesive.

1989's The Real Thing was Faith No More's breakthrough album, the rap/rock crossover "Epic its smash hit single. These successes, following those of jane's Addiction, Guns N' Roses and Metallica, opened the door for Nirvana et al. Now Angel Dust is poised to go multi-platinum Stateside, and it's surely a safer bet than Man United for the league championship next season.

However safe the bet, though, this is not a safe album.

The record company have already complained that vocalist Mike Patton has indulged in "too much role-playing" throughout these 13 songs. On 'Malpractice he screams as it in blind panic, on 'RV' he grumbles like an old bum, on the filthily-titled "Jizzlobber' he snarls through FX like Al Jourgensen of Techno-rock terrorists Ministry. It this kind of madness is too much for you, Foreigner have just released a Greatest Hits album.

Faith No More are not all there (bass player Bill Gould has a leather jacket daubed with the face of Manson and the legend 'Charlie's Angels') and Angel Dust is a riot of insane, glorious rock. 'Be Aggressive' combines church organ, frantic metal-funk and a cheerleader chorus, while

'RV' sounds like Tom Waits singing Led Zeppelin's I'm Gonna Crawl'. There's even a tune called 'Crack Hitler', and in place of the standard rock ballad is a cover of the hammy yet emotive theme song from the Dustin Hoffman/Jon Voight tearjerker Midnight Cowboy.

Previously, Faith No More have covered the Commodores' 'Easy'. They've certainly got a very strange notion of classic rock.

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