Saturday, July 12, 2008

Faith No More - King For A Day

I used to have a rule when I was 14 or so, that is if an album had more three good songs on it, it was a decent purchase. Some great albums I had, had 4 songs on them, like Rage Against The Machines self titled debut. Infact in my limited experience didn't think an album could get much better. Then came Faith No More, or more precisely, then I came along to Faith No More that had been around for longer than I was aware and blew my crappy standard completely out of the visible spectrum.
If you are lucky enough to be a FNM fan, then their albums actually do the impossible for any band you usually like. They are all distinct and yet...of a consistent quality to live up to your expectations. 'Album of the Year' may be the only week point as I would describe it as a 4 star album. But in the beginning (beginning of Mike Patton's run with them) there was 'The Real Thing' that from start to finish is pure gems of alternate rock gold, it operates somewhere in the spectrum between whining punk, to thrash rap. And not this rap where a white guy like Eminem gets to be treated by black people with respect, but one that firmly belongs with electric guitar accompaniment from the lips of a white guy with an uber-undercut and would have black guys shaking their heads in shame and embarrassment because instead of merely stealing their cultural offering, they made it their own, for their own audience - ironically the same audience that likes the best rap music and isn't all insecure about who is cool enough to listen to it - people who like music.
Then came 'Angel Dust' which goes way down the disjointed thrash metal, singing through a megaphone combined with flavorings of country ballads. This contains probably FNM's best song 'Midlife Crisis'. Yet again Angel Dust would probably satisfy on a desert island except that it was followed up with the album for which all has been so far in this post, mere preamble. King For A Day.
It is worth it to me to examine track by track and I'll embed the video clips were I can.

1. Get Out

This album doesn't ease in its listeners, it injects the energy from the outset. Short and sweet this song doesn't make much of an impression on me, apart from waking me up and grabbing my attention. If using headphones make sure you adjust the volume before playing this album.

2. Ricochet

Already one of the highlights of the album, it caters to my sick side with lines like 'It's always funny until someone gets hurt and then its just hilarious' and yet can be nostalgic as well commenting maybe of the inscrutable meaning of our lives '...there's no reason, no explanation, so play the violin' this song is like a kid who has had raspberry cordial straight - it is happy and angry. But maybe it is a timely reminder that a song is not made or broken by its lyrics, it is also fucking pleasant on the ear.

3. Evidence

The lounge music that isn't appropriate, this is one of the best aspects of FNM albums in general, you get 5 singers for the price of one, where does one put a lounge track in a hard rock album, apparantly track 3 is soon/late enough, you see your energy level drop again. This track can pass over your head a couple of times before you realise what it is they are singing about, it demonstrates all of our suceptability to just cruise along with something nice sounding without hearing what is said.

4. The Gentle Art of Making Enemies

I remember this song from 'Who Cares?: The best of Faith No More' the obligatory album to fulfill a record contract that was a best seller when I was in Year 8 or 9, this was a single that people I knew hadn't heard, and it quite took my circle of friends by storm. Everybody loved this song, it was so angry, and we were teenagers, that said of all the angry music out there, this never took itself seriously, its just one awesome song, highlight numero 2 of the album. This song wastes no time.

5. Star A.D

This song has brass, and while it may not be everyones cupcake, I like it because it is more play for patton's vocals, unsurprisingly it is a song that has no real youtube clip either. you can sweat this one out, or you can enjoy it. I could imagine it being used as a theme for either a hardhitting HBO series featuring david dachovny or some Quentin Tarantino take on Hawaii 5-0.

6. Cuckoo for Caca

I can't even pretend to know what this is about, and I would have listened to it close to 120 times. It is deep and dark and energetic. Imagine a huge gothic cathedral collapsing as the devil crawls out of hell and the cascade of rubble born from flying buttresses hit the gigantic organ keys as the universe implodes, then combine it with non-sensical lyrics and you have Cuckoo for Caca. If that description doesn't do it for you, then I am telling you trust me this is highlight numero 3. 'Take it from our drummer Puff, being good it gets you stuff' nough said.

7. Caralho Voador

The second real lounge track of the album and arguably needed after Cuckoo for Caca. Not quite as good as Evidence, but nevertheless quality. The refrain gets stuck in your head too.

8. Ugly in the Morning

The poor mans 'Cuckoo for Caca' but just to quanitify how good that is I'm calling it highlight numero 4. The lounge tracks are nice but it is this type of music that makes me feel cool to associate with.

9. Digging the Grave

This one captures both the smooth velvety texture of Patton's vocals, delivers the energy and captures the screeching scat artist crazyman vocal styling of Mike Patton. The clip almost bills it as a Metal track. Highlight number 5

10. Take this Bottle

Take this bottle is a sad song, a lament, a ballad. Tragic, hopeful? I don't know, but it is powerful, it tingles my scrotum. And thats what a good ballad should do.
Note this isn't the actual song but an amusing anecdote

11. King For a Day

My life is somewhat a struggle to figure out how I could ever persuade my better half to let me have this play on our wedding day. The title track has many of the properties of digging the grave in terms of showcasing Mike's contrasting styles, its just about ten times better. What's ten times better than a good song? highlight number 6 thats what.

12. What a Day

And then straight of the back of that you might be expecting another slow tempo tune to give you a rest, but no, you get What a day highlight number 7.

13. The Last To Know

This song is a lament, it lets you know the end of the album is coming. sad but again powerful, this one tingles both my scrotums.

14. Just A Man

This song is one of those songs that ends an album so well that if you hadn't realised it by yet you now know you have just listened to a great album.
Just listen to it, then you'll understand.

So if you've stuck with me to this point, then let me just say, if you have 10 maybe max 20 dollars in your pocket, don't spend it on something stupid like food, go out and buy this album, and desert island aside buy all faith no more's album, because your kid isn't going to discover Led Zep, or Iggy and the Stooges like that annoying Juno character. They are going to discover FNM in your antique CD collection one day, and instead of thinking you are the coolest like Juno's kids may be under the false impression of if she didn't give her kids up for adoption and thus spare them this tragedy, your kids will know in thier scrotum that you are the coolest. Hopefully this isn't much of a revelation to them as you won't be pussy whipped (or whatever the gender nuetral term is) by that stage.
This excited me.

I'm excited.

No comments: