Review Summary: Faith No More introduces themselves to the world and gives their singer the boot in the process…
Before becoming an alternative rock pioneer and cited by countless bands as a major influence, Faith No More
spent a pair of albums flirting with a variety of genres while tooling their sound. During this reign, the band produced their 1985 debut We Care a Lot
and the 1987 follow-up Introduce Yourself
, both with vocalist Chuck Mosley at the helm. Mosley’s controversial presence/attitude and questionable vocal talents would lead to both mixed reactions from the music listening public and eventually Mosley’s firing. Despite all the flak he received, however, Mosley’s often off-key voice would help to cement the band’s early status as a band with a different sound.
Patton-lovers who are hesitant to give the band’s earlier work a true chance should take comfort in a couple things. First, the entire core of the band (with that exception of Patton on vocals) was intact from We Care a Lot through the groundbreaking Angel Dust
. As an obvious result, the overall sound is pretty easily recognisable, despite the earlier sound. Second, this clearly paved the way for the band’s major breakthrough disc (and arguably the band’s magnum opus) The Real Thing
, so it carries a bit of that records vibe. All that being said, if you can’t find yourself getting into Mosley’s vocals, the albums going to come out considerably weaker as a result. Despite the instrumental strengths on Introduce Yourself, Mosley’s style has the ability to either get you singing along, or more likely skipping from track to track in hopes of finding something tolerable. Repeated listens will definitely aid in the listenability of the record, and you may even find yourself walking away with a few gems.
is one of the aforementioned tracks, with a pretty recognisable sound accompanying it. Guitarist Jim Martin and keyboardist Roddy Bottum are the key factors in this sound, with the formers crunchy, triplet-laden riffs and the latter’s atmospheric keys filling the soundscape admirably. It doesn’t hurt to have a rhythm section that is consistently spot-on, alongside bassist Billy Gould’s hand in writing eight of the album’s ten tracks, including the self-penned closer Spirit
. Given that these factors remained after the departure of Mosley keeps the band’s overall sound from making a really serious shift, instead being given the chance to shape and grow naturally. Admittedly, however, all these traits help the disc from falling completely flat, but ultimately aren’t enough to save this sophomore outing.
Despite possessing a couple of impressively strong moments (hear Faster Disco
, the ultra-catchy Chinese Arithmetic
, and a revamped/updated version of We Care a Lot
) the flow of the record is disrupted by far too many weak ones. Introduce Yourself has a pretty mixed tone, ranging from dark and atmospheric to quirky and upbeat. Giving this one a spin is definitely worth it to a blooming FNM fan, especially if you’re interested in how the band’s sound came to fruition. Unfortunately, the replay value of this one seems to be confined to a couple of tracks, making for a justifiably passed over record.
- Faster Disco
- Chinese Arithmetic
- We Care a Lot