Like many people who came of age in the late ’80s/early ’90s, the first CDs I ever owned were ordered through the mail-order service/borderline scam run by BMG/Columbia House. Along with many others, I’m sure, one of that very first batch of discs I received was Faith No More’s The Real Thing. At the time I probably just dug that song “Epic” and thought they were a cool heavyish rock group with elements of rap, somewhere along the lines of The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I had no idea just how weird the band and their frontman, Mike Patton, would get, but it ended up being a pretty cool ride. (Angel Dust is the one that gets all the accolades, but I still have a soft spot for King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime. And Patton’s terrifyingly strange band Mr. Bungle was a high school staple for me.)
But way before that, before the lineup solidified (if it can ever be said to have done so) with Patton on vocals, Faith No More’s membership was a mercurial, ever-shifting thing. They had several different vocalists before they ever recorded an album (did you know Courtney Love was even in the band once?), and for their first two albums, the singer was Chuck Moseley (whose solo album Will Rap Over Hard Rock for Food sounds like a must-hear).
All of this is to say that if you have an opinion of Faith No More based on The Real Thing or any of their later work, the reviews by KCMU DJs on their first album, We Care a Lot, might not sound like they’re talking about the same band.
“Power pop rock — sometimes close to [unintelligible]core. Interesting lyrics, rhythms, not the typical power pop rock sound. Great arrangements + production out of San Francisco.”
“Kinda OK, sorta.”
“A real intensive stomper. Who are these guys, anyway? Wow + gosh!”
“I like ‘em!”
“On a second listening what about the slacks? [“The Slacks,” maybe? Another band?] Rippppppofffff.”
“But sure sounds good.”
“P.S. Great Stephen Fellows imitation on the vocals.”
“This deserves to be from England on 4AD or something. It BLOWS.”
“Uh, Mark –”
“G.P.’s right. ‘Arabian Disco’ kicks.”
“P.S. Mark, is that good or bad?”