Faith No More
The Real Thing (Reissue)
When I first heard “Epic” I knew it was a hit, if for no other reason than it was on MTV’s heavy rotation. But it had the sound and bombast the age still demanded even though I never missed it when it rotated off to pop tune oblivion although I did miss FNM’s earlier “We Care A Lot.” There was a lead singer change in there, the erratic Chuck Mosley got the boot for Mike Patton and that’s where this reissue picks up. The Real Thing remains surprisingly strong; opener “From Out of Nowhere” is almost as good as the hit “Epic.” From 2015’s perch the disc clearly lives in the early wave of grunge while still maintaining the bombast of old fashion hard rock. “Surprise – You’re Dead” sticks with a more speed metal sound, while “Zombie Eaters” is almost a ballad complete with strings and breathy vocals. The real winner here is the cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”; here Mr. Patton sounds amazingly like Mr. Osbourne but with a lower level of self destructiveness.
The big selling point here revolves about the rarities; if you’ve read this far I assume you still have the original in a jewel case somewhere. Like all “alt cuts” there are winners and losers. The radio remix of “Epic” sounds a bit cleaner; but that might just be the latent fanboy in me. “Cowboy Song” is a B side; it’s intense and rocking, but lacks that certain edge a song needs to go from “good” to “burn this on my mix tape.” Another “meh” cut is acoustic exercise “The Grade.” It’s what you might listen to around a camp fire after the s’mores had solidified; it’s just not that good. But the live version of “War Pigs” from Berlin makes up for that, as does live versions of “Surprise You’re Dead” and the unexpected “Chinese Arithmetic”. Consider this a small live concert, and you should be happy. Angel Dust is due for the same Rhino treatment in the near future, so stay tuned!