The Skip 5 Show #19: Faith No More – The Jungle
Heard on We Care A Lot (1985), this is a bit of a weirdo track, trippy with synths and fuzzy guitars over a driving beat. It’s like an 80s anthem on FNM steroids. There’s an underwater quality to some of the vocal effects, but not for the whole track. I dug it, but it wouldn’t be the first song that came to mind when I thought of this group.
WikInfo: “Sol Invictus (Latin for Unconquered Sun) is the seventh studio album by American rock band Faith No More, released on May 19, 2015. It is Faith No More’s first studio album since 1997’s Album of the Year, marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career, and their first release on Reclamation Records. Sol Invictus is also the band’s first album since 1992’s Angel Dust to feature the same lineup as its predecessor.”
So could FNM pull off good music after an 18 year hiatus? Of course they could! The singles: Superhero fucking kills, and Motherfucker is an odd little thing, but compelling and fun. Sunny Side Up is a bluesy groove that builds to a howl, and Cone Of Shame teases with a weirdo gentle first half, then sandblasts you with the second half! Yeah! The rest of the songs are just as good. It’s muscular, it’s weird, it’s that FNM sound as we know it and love it.
Hit It Or Quit It? Hit!
Here we go again with another incredibly generous gift from Mike! This was another disc I once owned but it ended up being damaged (a long, sad story), so I am thrilled that it is here once again. And in a special edition!
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 5 (2CD)
Land Of Sunshine is just a huge track to kick us off, that riff and that creepy laughter over the carnival keys while the drums pound… ‘sing and rejoice,’ indeed! Up next it’s Caffeine, which keeps the heavy riffin’ alive and brings on the growly vocals. Love those guitars, great tone. Love the break down part with the low vocals. Great dynamics to the whole thing. If you’ll pardon the pun, this one’s really epic…
Midlife Crisis we all know well. I hadn’t appreciated the strings, all those times before, but through the good headphones I realized just how perfect they are here. Greatness. Then we roll into RV, a creepy and weird little ode to what sounds like a wonderful man… the music is delightfully off-kilter, and the lyrics are told like a drunk uncle on the couch (complete with nasal exhalations). When it goes into full crash mode, it’s deliciously crunchy.
Smaller And Smaller brings on the metal riffing, heavy and atmospheric with those (now so recognizeable) vocals soaring over top. We groove that way, with some screams too, for quite a while, before the song breaks down into this weird swingin’ bit with, what, native American vocals? Then a radio starts talking while he sings over top… Weird! But the metal comes back, and how. Great tune. Then it’s Everything’s Ruined, which starts off with some keys before lifting off into another (by now) template FNM song. Quieter verses, heavy as hell chorus bit. Yes!
Malpractice is a wall of varying noises and then the band takes off into a punk metal craziness wave that you’re best just to let pull you along. If you fight its frenetic energy and push-pull, you;re likely to get whiplash! The bit thta starts around 2:30 is disorienting, all gentle sounds and lovely dreamy vocals. But it doesn’t last long! Wow! This one will stomp you.
Kindergarten is a decent enough tune, but never really achieves lift-off. Maybe that’s the point, we’re only in Kindergarten, after all… I dunno, this one needed something, especially after the brilliance that was Malpractice. Maybe they need to… Be Aggressive, which leads us in with Phantom-like organ sounds, and then becomes a metal funk workout. That bass sound is a monster. Whoa. Plenty of weird bits in this, and the vocals remind me of Rollins’ approach. The ladies spelling this is apropos of FNM.
A Small Victory is one we all know well, so I won’t bore you with talking about this slow metal jam’s merits. Crack Hitler takes a long time to build, but it’s funky when it does. It never really achives lift-off until the heavier chanting bit at 2:55. That adds an edge the song really needed, and more bass. Also, love the air raid sirens… Jizzlobber is a wonderful song title, but never mind because we start of fin a swamp, I think, with water and insect sounds. The tune pounds us menacingly, with big heavy guitars and howled vocals while the drums pound us into submission. Even when it shifts tempos, even when the organs and choir take over and turn it into a creepy church service, this tune is really, really something else!
Midnight Cowboy starts off with a gentle swing, vaguely French sounding with that accordion. It sounds like a peaceful idyll, but we know it can’t last, right? Actually, the band does join in, but even when it gets a bit heavier this remains a lovely instrumental, and a nice respite from the complexity of the rest of this album. So, how will they end the record? Easy’s piano intro is lovely, wait, could that be… yes, suddenly we’re disorientated by FNM earnestly covering Lionel Richie (with the Commodores). OMFG this album. There’s only one band and that could pull all of this off and not sound like a joke, and it’s FNM. Friggin’ brilliant.
Album Proper In Sum:
Brilliance. Must own. Wow!
And now we get to the supreme generosity of this set that Mike sent to me… You see, this one has a 4-song live set included on a second CD! Wiki tells me that makes this an Australian release, with the four tracks recorded at a free concert in Munic, Germany on November 9, 1992. Sweet!
Easy is up first, with Patton silencing the crowd and dedicating it to “everyone with hemorrhoids this evening…” They seem to take a certain glee in playing this one, and good on them. Whoa baby. Up next is Be Aggressive, which brings back the FNM stomp with a huge bottom end and just a great sound all around. I’m sure the crowd was into it! Also, Laura Schumacher lost her wallet, and he invites her to go up and get it…
Kindergarten sounds way better live than it did on the record. And the crowd is singing along! Oh yes, much better! And finally it’s a tune called Mark Bowen, which is not an Angel Dust album track. It’s a cool FNM stomper, that punding bottom end while weirdness occurs overtop. Other bands would make a mess of this, searching for its sound, but FNM nails it and makes it sound like it was as good as any other of their songs!
Live EP In Sum:
This is actually the first time I’ve heard FNM live, and I liked it. I’ll bet they were a sight to behold!
Full Set In Sum:
Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. Loved this. THANKS HEAPS, MIKE!
Alright, I didn’t do a Lebrain Le-Rocks post yesterday because it is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canuckland, and I was too busy stuffing myself with delicious spiral ham and scalloped potatoes to have a post ready for you. But we’re back today, so here we go with another brilliant gift from Mike. I should say that I did own this disc, but it got scratched and I was gutted. And now here’s another copy! YAY!
The Lebrain Le-Rocks Series, Part 4
From Out Of Nowhere synth-punks us into happy oblivion. Faith No More have a sound – it’s in the chord changes and the vocals, and this one has it all. Go go go! And then it perfect flows into the utterly perfect rap-rock/metal Epic, which we all know and love. Yes yes yes.
Falling To Pieces guitar chugs and wails just right. A track like this makes me think it’s totally of its time (1989) but then I think ‘who cares?’ Turn it up! Up next is Surprise! Your Dead!, which has some fucking fantastic guitar riffage, and some crazy-man vocals. I love this track! It’s the most metal/thrash track here yet. Oh baby yes.
Zombie Eaters slows things down, arppegiating acoustic guitars, gentle tune. Very pretty. But wait, around the 2:00 minute mark… haha NOT! Here comes the heavy chug, baby, and it’s pure glory. This makes me want to drive really fast in my car. Not because of its speed, but because of its power. Next is the title track, and it’s another template FNM song. Hot damn, that’s awesome.
Underwater Love may be fairly straight-ahead pop rock with a real funky bass line, but it’s also a FNM song, so there’s that edge to it that must still carry a warning label… The Morning After has that recognizeable beat and bass sound, but also has enough of a sort of a Breakfast Club sound to it… until the guitars come in. Then all bets are off! A cool blend of the two sounds.
Woodpecker From Mars builds off weird sounds into an absolute rampage of guitar riffing that slows to meet and create a deluge of elements. When it really lets go, it’s practically Ministry. When it slows down, it could be a 90s Indian film track… when it shifts at the mid-point, it hardly matters – youre hooked. Super-cool! And then there’s the cover of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs which is spot-freaking-on. Loved it. And finally, Edge Of The World, which starts us off with finger snaps and then leads into a jazzy bluesy swinger of a tune. When it does the full reveal of this strip show, it’s exactly what you need to see.
Friggin’ brilliant. Of course. THANKS HEAPS, MIKE!!