Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Faith No More : "Sol Invictus"

When you are the band that created "Angel Dust", the bar is going to be raised pretty high. I went into this apprehensive, due to the fact I was under whelmed by the singles released from this one. This first song does sound like Faith No More. But they throw you a curve ball by not coming out the gate rocking. I didn't hate it , but I wasn't blown away by it. Almost a duet between Patton and Bottoms tender piano. The guitar and more rock formulaic playing comes on "Superhero". The bass holds it don't for Patton to have vocal spasms until he gets to the chorus. The guitar is really low in the mix. Almost to the point that the band feels apologetic for having guitar on the album. Is Patton doing anything we have not previously heard from them? No. But it is an improvement over the opener, wouldn't say it rocks out , but it takes a better stab at .

He drops down into his sleazy "RV" for "Sunny Side Up" before going into the brassy tenor  that guys like Brandon Boyd began trying to mimic in the late 90s. The bands playing makes it obvious that despite Patton's singing you are going to mistake this for Tomahawk or Mr. Bungle. The song structures are much more conventional than those side projects. The first song that grabs me from the get go is "Separation Anxiety" . It has a sinewy Tool like riff that slithers under it. Though when they throw the chorus fake out at you, you'll be waiting for Patton to say "Here's How to Order..." . The first new vocal trick comes by way of the effects put on his vocals on the bridge. "Cone of Shame" find Patton going back into the lower gravelly character voice. This song eventually finds it's legs after an awkward start.

By the time I get to calypso tinged " Rise of the Fall" , I find myself thinking fondly back to the days when Faith No More wrote songs that I could not wait to listen to again. These are not those songs. At best there is some avant garde pop songs that are not wasting my afternoon, but are far from compelling. At 47 Patton show that he still has command of his pipes, despite the bulk of the album being sung in a more baritone register. I'm sure what to think of the strummed guitar in "Black Friday" which at first made me think of "Living the Vida Loca". There is punkish roughness to the heavier dynamic this song falls into at the chorus. It turns into a fun song. There greatest artistic achievement I have heard "Mother Fucker" before and was not really impressed so let's if it does anything more for me than remind me of the Butthole Surfers sell out album. The chorus grows on me, the verses bore me.

There feels like more thought is put into "Matador" which despite feeling like Barry Manilow taking acid and trying to write a Broadway Hit with Philip Glass.  So there were only two songs that I was sold on my first listen to this album. Theres a 60s feel to the strummed guitar of "From the Dead". The song is so simple it's almost baffling.It's been how long since these guys put out an album? I think if it had been mixed with a little more balls the heavier sections would have carried more power. I have heard Morrissey albums with more balls than this. And I don't listen to Morrissey for his balls. I am torn originally I was going to give this one an 8. Which is right at the threshold of what will make it onto the iPod or not which and 8 generally means these guys are pretty good and this is worth checking out. But knowing this should be a 10 this is a disappointment. So I'll round it down to a 7.5. The last Tomahawk album was better.

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