We Care A Lot

Faith No More

Mordam Records, 1985

http://www.fnm.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/17/2014

As most people who really know me are well aware, Faith No More has been and will always be my favorite band. They were one of the first bands that I can remember really liking right off the bat. Every record, with maybe the exception of their sophomore album, has been some of my favorites of all time. This first record, made with original singer Chuck Mosley for an independent label in the mid ‘80s, is one of those unique records that you either love or can’t find because it’s so damn obscure and rare.

Starting things off with the definitive version of that classic ‘80s gem “We Care A Lot,” the band begins with a bang. Defiant, humorous and rebellious, Mosley and crew really shows what the ‘80s were about and why the decade was so weird and ridiculous. The band really comes into their own on tracks like “The Jungle” and “Mark Bowen.” The former gets off to a walloping start thanks to the immortally great rhythm section of bassist Billy Gould and drummer Mike Bordin. They grab a hold of the beat and never let go. The same can be said of “Mark Bowen,” named after a former member of the band. Guitarist Jim Martin breaks out here and while his playing is a bit more restrained than it would be on future records, he sets the stage for his eccentricities.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album winds along with a quirky little set piece entitled “Jim,” where Martin tinkles around on a little acoustic number before mumbling some profanities and ending the song. Odd and out of place, it sets the tone for Faith No More’s identity at large. The centerpiece of the album, “Why Do You Bother?” starts off with a slow building crawl of an intro until Mosley kicks in with the vocals and sends the song into a kind of downward spiral which crescendos in a lengthy organ outro.

“Greed” comes across as Mosley’s manifesto to people who accused him of being unable to sing. While it was technically true at the time, the song is still great and stands as one of their most defiant moments. While Mosley’s tone is a bit harsh and wildly unyielding, it made sense for the band at the time. “Pills For Breakfast” is an instrumental that never seems to go anywhere and kind of seems like filler on the record.

The last couple of tracks are not some of the best that FNM ever did, but overall, the record is a great primer for what Faith No More would become in the future. After releasing a rather uninspired sophomore record in 1987, they ditched Mosley (who in the future would clean up his act and actually started singing properly in later bands) and hired Mike Patton, who helped rocket them to early ‘90s stardom.

While this disc is definitely in need of a remastering job and should be more readily available in America, it is nice to listen to so one can hear what the band sounded like at the beginning of the career and see how far they were able to go from here. Overall, We Care A Lot is non-essential but an interesting curiosity.

Rating: B-

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