Introduce Yourself

Faith No More

Slash Records, 1987

http://www.fnm.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/13/1997

Faith No More is a prime example of a band who achieve success with one song, and that is all that people know (or want to know) about them. Had it not been for "Epic" off their second major label release The Real Thing, this band would probably still be languishing on college radio.

My discovery of Faith No More was not with "Epic," it was with their 1987 release Introduce Yourself, and the title couldn't have been both better and worse. It barely gave us time to get to know original singer Chuck Mosely, and in retrospect, this may not have been so bad. But it also gave the world its first real taste of the band, and showed us they ran both hot and cold on vinyl.

The album opens up strongly enough with "Faster Disco," and immediately you're struck by the fact the band doesn't seem to quite know what it wanted to be. They could be a decent hard rock band with the guitar work of Jim Martin (who I still miss), they could have been a funk band courtesy of the bass riffings of Bill Gould... hell, with Mosely's often off-key warblings, they could have been a rap band a la Body Count. (For that matter, I my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 still don't think Faith No More knows what kind of a band they want to be.) But "Faster Disco" is a great opening shot, and leaves the listener looking forward to what the rest of the album has to offer.

Too bad the very next effort, "Anne's Song," is a major step backwards. The first portion of the song is a positive enough message, though musically it is a weak vehicle with which it is delivered. And the rundown of friends arriving for some event is just tedious. Fortunately, the furious two minute blast of the title track saves face.

"Chinese Arithmetic" is probably the unsung classic on Introduce Yourself - the mixture of funk with a touch of rap in the bridge, and the crunching guitar/vocal shriek close is surprisingly appealing. (However, the recycling of a portion of the lyrics on "R n' R" is annoying - what, you guys run out of original ideas so soon?)

Too bad the moments of brilliance on this album are so few - only "The Crab Song" comes close, and is a solid effort of both ballad and funk which slams the listener into stunned acceptance. "We Care A Lot" is an okay song, but it is more of a "novelty" item than a real hit. The rest of the album - well, they try, and it is occasionally pleasant to listen to.

Mosely, unbeknownst to him, was making an early swansong. He would be fired from the band (some say for drug abuse, I say for massacring the tonal scale), to be replaced by Mike Patton, who actually could hold a tune while sneering at the same time.

Introduce Yourself isn't a bad album - I still occasionaly pull it out of the legendary Pierce Memorial Archives (call your local cable operator) and reminisce about my days in college radio. Ten years after its release, it remains an interesting picture of a band struggling to make it, as well as how much their songwriting needed to grow.

Rating: C+

User Rating: B-


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© 1997 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Slash Records, and is used for informational purposes only.