They Cared A Lot

(We care a lot) about the gamblers and the pushers and the geeks
(We care a lot) about the smack and crack and whack that hits the street
(We care a lot) about the welfare of all the boys and girls
(We care a lot) about you people cause we’re out to save the world

Ahh, the sweet smell of sarcasm.  I only picked Faith No More Introduce Yourself up in 2007, twenty years after it had been released – sometimes dates like that just make me boggle, can you really believe it’s now 27-ish years old? – but, anyway, I’d known and loved the track ‘We Care a Lot’ for ever and a day and figured a cheap second-hand version of the LP was too good an opportunity to be missed.  It’s not one I play a lot but it really is just an excellent album.

Like the whole of the UK I fell for The Real Thing hard when it came out, the band seemed to be over here all the time and everywhere, I guess trying to get big here to parley that back into more success at home.  I never saw them at the time which I bitterly regret.  It’s a story for another time but ‘Epic’ just blew all the walls down in terms of who liked their music, much to the disgruntlement of several of us more insular metal types.  I never made the trip back into their murky pre-history before Mike Patton at the time, but I should have.

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Chuck Mosely the vocalist on Introduce Yourself, successor to (yup, her again!) Courtney Love, I remember as a great big, acrobatic guy with some serious dreads that I saw fronting Bad Brains in about 1992.  He was ousted after this LP in a haze of recriminations and hotly-denied allegations of substance abuse.  The first thing I really notice here is how similarly he sings to Mike Patton in places, although he doesn’t have his elastic larynx, with more rough edges which I like.  Take a track like the sweetheart melody of ‘Anne’s Song’ he just sells that vocal brilliantly, out-of-tune bits and all.

The predominant sound of Introduce Yourself for me is the bass of Billy Gould, I mean it’s hardly a secret that all of FNM are excellent musicians but that loose-stringed TWANG, as modelled perfectly at the beginning of ‘Anne’s Song’ and ‘We Care a Lot’,  is what the whole LP is built on here.  Somehow the band got dragged into the whole abominable funk-metal label, which I think misses the point totally – Faith No More come across far more as a band influenced by early hip-hop and electro than funk, let’s face it this was a gang of scummy, filthy street dudes looking for a formula that hit hard and they found it.

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The real highlights for me are the jaw-busting ‘Introduce Yourself’, it’s just there being brash and loud, and I’m a real sucker for songs that name check band members.  By the end of the track Chuck Moseley is just singing sounds before he finishes on an ‘eyeeee-ohhhh’ that Perry Farrell purloined and turned platinum years later.  This is just perfection as far as I am concerned, I once listened to it 14 times in a row on a treadmill (it’s only 1:33 long).  On a similar tip ‘Chinese Arithmetic’ although a more-mannered song, hits hard swathed in layers of Roddy Bottum’s keys, hits as hard as ‘Chinese Arithmetic’ in fact and features a brilliant ragged rap a la early Sugarhill Gang at one point before galloping off into the future.

Another favourite moment for me is the spoken word and bongos intro to ‘Death March’ which recalls The Last Poets and the aforementioned ‘Anne’s Song’, the most melodic cut here by far where Big Sick Ugly Jim Martin* manages to sound a little like Brian May.  ‘Faster Disco’ also gets bonus points for some interesting animal yelps in the background towards the end, you can’t beat a good bit of yelping in a song.

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But it all pales before the mighty ‘We Care A Lot’ which basically has everything I love about heavy music in one big shiny, sarcastic package.  Building slowly, replete with ‘whoa-oh-uh-oh’ s and a perfect drum, bass, guitar riffing, this pricking of all that mid-late 1980’s earnestness is just dynamite, call it a hunch but I’m guessing they don’t really care a lot about the ‘N.Y, S.F. and L.A.P.D’, or at least not as much as ‘(We care a lot) about Transformers cause there’s more than meets the eye’.

But you know, it’s all good here.  Every last inch of it, right to the end of last track ‘Spirit’, with its strange Nick Cave-style intro and heavy climax,

So lets pack it up and take it somewhere special…
From a quintessential, existential nightmare
To a sanctuary waiting in the sun.

Faith No Introduce Yourself 04

331 Down.

*my favourite name in rock, even though he only started using it a bit later on than this LP.

33 thoughts on “They Cared A Lot

  1. I went back and bought this and two other FNM records a while back, all because of Lebrain. It’d been years since I heard them, and I was blown away. You said it, it’s honest. I always think of the word ‘challenging’ first, but in a good way. Their albums are absolutely not background music. I also got King For A Day… and Angel Dust. I think the only one left to get of the four is The Real Thing?

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  2. I should really pick this up at some point. I keep seeing 2nd hand copies and I like the Patton stuff. I was never as hugely into them as some but still a fan!

    P.S. I was in a Lego store the other day and couldn’t help but think of you!

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    1. It’s a really good, raggedy inventive LP. Honest.

      You can’t beat a good Lego store – anyone fancy buying me one of those huge fancy Deathstars for my b’day? thought not!

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      1. Yup, basically the one that costs the price, and takes up the same amount of room, as a small family car.

        Is this where you tell me you’re really Bill Gates and you’re about to make my dream a reality?

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      2. Yes, this is that part. Except I’m not Bill Gates, and it’s one of those twists where your dream made into reality is not nearly as satisfying as the dream was. Total M. Night Shayamalan stuff.

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  3. FNM pretty much allowed Korn, Deftones, and the rest of those mid-90s angst-y and sexually confused bands to exist. Gould’s bass sound is heard throughout every Korn album. Patton’s swoon to bark is heard on nearly every song Chino Moreno sang on and continues to sing on. Their reach of bands they influenced in some way goes further than you’d ever imagine.

    For me, ‘Angel Dust’ was the album that made me a fanatic. I bought ‘The Real Thing’ in the fall of 1990, right after seeing the video for “From Out Of Nowhere”. “Woodpeckers From Mars” was the song I heard as I walked the halls of Warsaw Community High School. It was my theme. By the time ‘Angel Dust’ came out my senior year I was ready for some new FNM, and it didn’t disappoint. Mosley’s era was short but pivotal. “As The Worm Turns” and “Anne’s Song” are essential listening. And of course “We Care A Lot”.

    Southern California in the mid-80s churned out some great bands, Suicidal Tendencies and Faith No More were two of my favorites.

    Btw, I used to have a copy of their ‘Live At Brixton Academy’. Best live album I’ve ever owned…except for maybe some ‘Roadburn’ records.

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    1. Jhubner, I agree with everything you just said! I also have the Brixton live CD. I even bought the singles so I could get the live version of As the Worm Turns that didn’t make the album.

      I can’t say enough about this band that you didn’t cover already…to me they had 4 amazing records in a row, starting here and ending with King For a Day.

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      1. Yes. And it always pissed me off that they never seemed to get the credit due.

        One of my customers pissed me off so much. He was one of those guys who liked to think he was into cooler music than you, but he was a dipshit. One day he ordered Faith No More’s best-of CD.

        “Yeah, they’re the kind of band where you really only need the best-of.”

        That’s what he said, then I realized what a dipshit he really was.

        Jeez, I’m wasting a good Record Store Tale here ain’t I? Well, we’ll call it a Bonus Part. Part 263.5: Kevin the Depeche Mode Dipshit. He listened to 20 CDs at a time, sometimes buying 2, sometimes buying none.

        But we had the last laugh when he totaled his car, and his insurance wouldn’t pay for it because he failed to disclose an accident he’d had earlier.

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      2. It’s funny how I can get so riled up just thinking about that idiot.

        One day he asked me to order him a bunch of electronica from our other stores for him to sample. “Whatever, just pick 5 that you think I’ll like.” So I picked the 5 shittiest CDs that had been sitting around for years. He bought one!

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      3. Man, why ‘King For A Day’ didn’t do better I’ll never know. “Ricochet” just kills it. And “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” with lines like “and if I tightened up my hole, you may never see the light again” is just genius.

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      4. His delivery is perfect on that line! “Don’t you look so surprised, Happy Birthday, fucker!” That album is one great song after another after another. Each different than the last.

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      5. You know, I really wanted to like it. But I never finished listening to it where I felt better then when I started, and that’s never happened to me before with FNM.

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    2. Couldn’t agree more, although I was never a fan of that Korn sound; I remember Jonathon Davies saying that for them music began with FNM. I loved that they always seemed such an unstable mix of personalities, I do wonder whether that was the key to the creative sparks too.

      Why did I never go see them? dimwit!

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      1. I never really cared for Korn, either. But that bass sound was undeniable. It’s like Fieldy stole Gould’s bass rig.

        Though I do love Deftones…in case you were wondering.

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    1. Absolutely, my beloved System Of A Down couldn’t exist without them. I’ve spent more hours than I care to count dancing to ‘Epic’ in various dingy dives.

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