Faith No More

The Real Thing

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Starting with the careening "From Out of Nowhere" driven by Roddy Bottum's doomy, energetic keyboards, Faith No More rebounded excellently on The Real Thing after Chuck Mosley's was fired. Given that the band had nearly finished recording the music and Mike Patton was a last minute recruit, he adjusts to the proceedings well. His insane, wide-ranging musical interests would have to wait for the next album for their proper integration, but the band already showed enough of that to make it an inspired combination. Bottum, in particular, remains the wild card, coloring Jim Martin's nuclear-strength riffs and the Bill Gould/Mike Bordin rhythm slams with everything from quirky hooks to pristine synth sheen. It's not quite early Brian Eno-joins-Led Zeppelin-and-Funkadelic, but it's closer than one might think, based on the nutty lounge vibes of "Edge of the World" and the Arabic melodies and feedback of "Woodpeckers from Mars." "Falling to Pieces," a fractured anthem with a delicious delivery from Patton, should have been a bigger single that it was, while "Surprise! You're Dead!" and the title track stuff riffs down the listener's throat. The best-known song remains the appropriately titled "Epic," which lives up to its name, from the bombastic opening to the concluding piano and the crunching, stomping funk metal in between. The inclusion of a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" amusingly backfired on the band -- at the time, Sabbath's hipness level was nonexistent, making it a great screw-you to the supposed cutting-edge types. However, all the metalheads took the song to heart so much that, as a result, the quintet dropped it from their sets to play "Easy" by the Commodores instead!

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