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Faith No More's 1985 debut was an eccentric — and rarely repeated — marriage of underground post-punk and Sabbath-inspired heavy metal. It is often dismissed as FNM's very worst record, although in my opinion it's just as creative and unique as the band's later output under Mike Patton.
Faith No More's origins can be traced back to the late 70s. They began as an artsy, synth loving post-punk band fronted by a man named Mike Morris. There was basically no connection to heavy metal or hard rock music, but this changed when guitarist Jim Martin was recruited in the mid-80s. His thrash metal riffing gave Faith No More a heavy edge that set them apart from their dull, underground contemporaries.
Around the time Martin joined, they settled on Chuck Mosley as front man after a slew of early vocalists. He had a very off-colour, mumbling style of singing which added yet another level of strangeness to the band. After signing to indie punk label Mordam, they commenced recording what eventually became We Care a Lot.
The obvious low-budget production helps give the music an appropriate raw and dirty feel. The title track, which later became a minor hit in 1987, is the only song here which I would classify as "accessible". It could be mistaken as some early Red Hot Chili Peppers song thanks to its thumping bass and anthemic chorus. The highlights are the later cuts "Why Do You Bother" and "As the Worm Turns". They are dark diatribes revolving around unemployment and disenchantment towards society, perfectly complimented by Roddy Bottum's heavenly synths.
Humorous punk rock romps like "Mark Bowen" and "Greed" have a sarcastic, quirky tone which helps establish that Faith No More aren't all doom and gloom. The album's heaviest moment is arguably the instrumental interlude "Pills for Breakfast", which showcases Jim Martin's heavy metal background and Mike Bordin's tribal drumming. It can conjure up all sorts of weird images in one's mind by name alone.
I consider this far superior to the cheesy pop found on The Real Thing, and roughly on par with the band's other records. It will be reissued next year by Billy Gould's record label, which means it may finally get the public praise it deserves.
Yeah, that's right. FNM's debut is defenitely their worst album but that doesn't mean that it's bad. It still a decent album and I'm gonna give some information about this album by writing this review... So here we go!
There isn't one FNM fan that hasn't heard the hit "We Care A Lot" but this albums version of it is not the one that everyone have heard. It's a raw, somewhat slower and weaker version of it. If you compare this version with the one on "Introduce Yourself", then you'll immediately hear that the later version have been a lot more organized. I would rather count this version here as an early demo of the hit that we all know of. Track two ("The Jungle") is important 'cause it plays a big role in the FNM history. It's actually their worst song ever (at least I think so). There are a some classics like "Mark Bowen", "As The Worm Turns" and "Arabian Disco" that could have been a lot bigger than they actually are if this album just had come out more properly. There's some other tracks that can be counted more as "average" because, this is FNM's weakest and in this case it's a lot because of the tunes.
The production, well that's thing number two that makes this album the weakest in the FNM discography. If you imagine of a classic mid-80's debut album than they probably will get it right. Simply said, it sounds pretty cheap, raw and it just screams "debut album". Even if the production's pretty bad, you still hear everything in balance. That's one of the few good things with the production.
The cast are great. FNM has always been built on great musicians since the start even though Chuck Mosely wasn't near as good as the later and classic singer Mike Patton. I've heard that Mike Patton said that this album sounded like "bad hippie music", I believe that. This can (with humour) be called "bad hippie music" because everyone mix their things with each others. Roddy is probably the most shining star on this album since much of the music is like "new wave rock" or something. Roddy perfoms with a lot of new wave keyboards while the excellent Jim Martin comes up with some great heavy metal riffing. Bill Gould and Mike Bordin are great but I don't really think they're shining so much on this album except on "Why Do You Bother?". Chuck Mosely have done some nice melodies with the vocals here but after hearing Mike Patton you'll always listen to this old stuff and think like "why Chuck and not Mike?". I guess we just have to except that this was Chuck's gig and not Patton's.
So finally to my last comments...
This album doesn't shine all the way through but there's some classics like "Arabian Disco", "Mark Bowen", "As The Worm Turns" and "Why Do You Bother?". This version of "We Care A Lot" isn't near so good as the later as I mentioned before so it doesn't make the highlights of this album either.
With this said, I can only recommend every FNM fan to dig this up for the cheapest price you can find. I wouldn't recommend you to expect too much of this album either but then, that's my opinion. You must listen to this yourself and then make a decision about if it's good or bad etc.
FNM's weakest, but still a pretty cool album and defenitely worth a listen!