Faith No More
The Real Thing



by Priestmetal USER (20 Reviews)
November 26th, 2005 | 299 replies

Release Date: 1989 | Tracklist

Faith no More… who hasn’t heard AT LEAST one song from them (Epic)" Until recently, I knew Faith no More only from their single Epic that rocked the early 1990s and brought FNM to an incredibly successful high. Having heard only one song from these guys, I thought to myself “What one hit wonders”. After purchasing this album though, I realized that I could not have been more wrong. This album rocks hard from start to finish with each member of the band displaying their excellent and eclectic playing beautifully. There are so many elements of FNM’s sound that make them absolutely kickass. For example, each member of the band brings something interesting to the sound. Its not like with some bands where all the emphasis is on the guitars and the bass is barely audible and the drums play generic beats. Nope people, this is Faith no More. Listening to this album feels like the members of the band are beating you senseless with their instruments (and Mike Patton is Screaming at you). You are currently getting owned by one of the hardest rocking bands of the 1990s.

The first thing that struck me when I listened to this was Mike Patton’s vocals. They are absolutely excellent. He can go high and low, melodically (like in The Real Thing) and aggressively (like in Surprise! You’re Dead!), and his voice is quite unique. It is slightly nasal and slightly whiny. Yet although those are usually negative attributes, the way he sings makes it seem very nice and very fitting to the music, which is the essential part. In addition, in some songs he raps. Now you must take into account that this album is from 1989 and rap back then was very “old-school”. So, his rapping isn’t at all that bad. Plus, every nu-metal band of the 90s that rapped a little in a few songs (Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Incubus, etc) got it from Mike Patton. That is merely a LITTLE part of how influential FNM was.

Another great part of their sound is the bass. Billy Gould always seems to be playing the perfect bass line. He goes all out when the time is right (like in Wood peckers from Mars) and takes the back seat and plays simpler stuff when something else needs emphasis (like in the verse of Epic). Yet, no matter what kind of a bass line he’s busting out, he is always present delivering a nice extra edge of heaviness to the song. He mainly plays rock bass lines but he occasionally does some quick slapping to add some spice to the rhythm.

The guitar riffs throughout this album are all pretty fresh despite them not being outlandishly original (with the exception of Surprise! You’re Dead! Which, I believe, has generic thrash riffs on purpose). Songs like The Real Thing have some heavier metal riffs while other songs like Zombie Eaters have softer more melodic riffs that sound kinda trippy. The only problem is that Jim Martin doesn’t play enough lead parts. There is not one guitar solo on the whole album. Some songs, I think, would really benefit from some.

Adding a whole new dimension to the riffs and the whole feel of the sound is Roddy Bottum’s keyboard work. In many songs such as From out of Nowhere, Falling to Pieces, and Underwater Love you can really hear him add depth to the riffs. Without the keyboard both these songs would need to be changed because they would be too insipid and one-dimensional. Also, he plays some nice lead work in Wood peckers from Mars. I’m not sure if he’s really a skilled musician but what he does goes very well with the rest of the band.

Mike Bordin, the drummer, mainly plays standard rock beats but he delivers them with enough energy to keep the sound nice and heavy, which some drummers simply cannot do (sadly). He plays some nice fills here and there and has a nice drum intro to The Real Thing. He seems to be very tight with the bassist because the sections where the drums and the bass play alone (the verse of Epic, the intro to the morning after to name a few) sound very heavy and keep you attentively waiting for the song to carry out and appear in all its glory.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised with this album. It has many catchy but hard rocking songs that are a perfect blend of metal aggression, melody, and almost funky rhythms. A few songs have a Jazzy feel, especially the song Edge of the World. Moreover, the instrumental track Wood Peckers from Mars is essential to the album because it shows that Faith no More is really tight as band and can really work as a band. In addition, one can not exclude the excellent Sabbath cover War Pigs. They literally are able to make it Faith no More’s War Pigs because when they play it, one could think that the song was written by them and not by Black Sabbath. They completely play it in their style, which I find remarkable. Yet, among this rather colorful assortment of songs some of them just don’t quite cut it. Falling to Pieces is not too bad of a song with some catchy lyrics and smooth flow but it seems abit too bland compared to the rest of the songs. Surprise! You’re Dead! is simply too generic. Whether it is on purpose or not, the “been there done that” thrasher is not very good. Zombie Eaters starts off very melodic and has an almost spacey feel as the keyboard comes in and Patton starts singing. But then it turns to a repetitive heavy rap filled section. The two parts just seemed a little heterogeneous and I find the song to be a bit boring overall. Lastly, I found that the morning after was quite expendable save one riff towards the middle of the song. Besides that though, every song has something to offer and the mere catchiness and groovy feel of the album won’t let you down. Every listen seems fresh. Headbanging to this album is actually rejuvenating.

Recommended tracks: From out of Nowhere, Epic, The Real Thing, Wood Peckers from Mars, War Pigs.

Bottom line: 4/5 A fun album to listen to anytime. Definitely worth buying or downloading but not quite a classic in my opinion.

Recent reviews by this author
Alice in Chains FaceliftJudas Priest British Steel
Rainbow Ritchie Blackmore's RainbowOzzy Osbourne Diary of a Madman
Mercyful Fate MelissaVenom Black Metal
user ratings (1737)
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Storm In A Teacup
November 26th 2005


Yacks! What's wrong with all the coding I won't read it until it's fixed.

November 26th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

WOW... Sputnik didn't like my punctuation!!!

November 26th 2005


just press save changes without editing it.

November 26th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, better than the first one.

I completely agree with you, this is a 4/5. The first three songs shine.

November 26th 2005


Very good album. Not their best, but this is when they became good, pretty much, and it's a very fine album in its own right. Their cover of War Pigs is good stuff for anyone who's never heard it. Good review as well.

November 26th 2005


hey man nice review but you said there was no guitar solos in the whole c.d what about epic and war pigs

Arise II
November 26th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Actualyl, contrary to what the Reviwer says, there are solo's on it - both in Epic and in War Pigs, if I'm not mistaken.

Anyway, I have this album both on LP and CD. What can I say, its simply amazing (although, from what I've heard, Mike Patton now hates it, claiming it is - and I'll have to agree with him on this one - very poppy).

Still, as with most of FNM's/Patton's work, its unique throughout, and def worth a couple of listenings (and not "a listen", as this is one of those album that you'll have to get used to. Sorta like beer. Or Coffee. Or.. Well, you get the idea).

Standout tracks are the over-the-top-poppy songs "Falling To Pieces" and "Underwater Love" - a brilliant play on contrast between musical structure and lyrical theme in the altter -, über-aggro-theme "Surprise! You're Dead", the cover "War Pigs" (WAY better than Ozzy & Co's original), dark and alectronic "The Real Thing", and the always astonishing Woodpecker From Mars - showing that when channelled properly, even pure noise can become a thing of beauty.

November 27th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

Yes I am sorry there are solos in War Pigs and Epic. But im talking about longer heavy metal style solos. I think some songs could of used those.

February 4th 2006


Amazing album. and not a bad review either. i am just recently getting into these guys after i borrowed a best-of and Ashes to Ashes brought me in. EPIC is incredible and their War Pigs cover is ace.

February 20th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

This is a great album, however Angel Dust is a tad better.

March 7th 2006


Good album, good review. It was good to mention Billy Gould because he play such a key roll on this album and in FNM in general.

Rory says yes
March 10th 2006


After hearing epic, what was it about that song that made me go out and buy the real thing? It was defiantly mike pattons voice, Its so weird and cool! I never listened to this kind of music before the real thing and it makes for an incrediably refreshing listen.

March 16th 2006


I'v had this album for a year or so and listened to it every now and then, but not properly till recently, it is pretty good, but definately not a classic. the B/S cover is excellent but certainly isnt way better than 'Ozzy and Co'.

March 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 4.5


April 23rd 2006


Great album, though i think right now i'm liking Angel Dust better. From Out of Nowhere is great.

May 11th 2006


Mike Patton is the best singer/music creater ever

May 11th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Falling to Pieces is actually one of my favourite songs from the album.

May 25th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Just because a song is generic, doesn't make it bad or any less entertaining to listen to.

June 1st 2006


Generic ususally does mean something like that actually, though I wouldnt call "Suprise! You're dead!" that.

June 5th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Uh... well I would. I dunno Surprise! You're Dead just seems SO much like filler to me.

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2017
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy