Milk And Blood

Jim Martin

SPV, 1997

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Ever come across a holy grail? Something you’ve been searching for forever? Could be a book, a piece of jewelry or something else? Ever get it home and it’s disappointing as hell?? Well, that’s what happened here.

Anyone that knows me knows I am a huge Faith No More fan. I had been searching for this long out of print record, the only solo record from the band’s founding guitarist, famously fired by fax in 1993, for quite a while. In the summer of 2023 I found it for five bucks in a metal record store I frequent in Richmond, Virginia. I was blown away and couldn’t believe my good fortune. Then I listened to it.

Opening track “Disco Dust” showcases Martin’s ever impressive guitar playing, but also his less impressive singing. Longtime friend James Hetfield of Metallica does backing vocals here and throughout the record. Would’ve been a hell of a lot better had he just sang the whole thing. Strike two is the length: the song just plods along for over six minutes, seemingly going nowhere while Martin and his rhythm section, bassist Brent Weeks and drummer Joe Cabral, just jam along, not really helping anything. Martin also produced the record and you can tell. The guitar sounds fine but the drums and occasionally the vocals sound like mud, and the drums in particular are very tinny. Massively disappointed was a vast understatement.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Fear” goes absolutely nowhere for over five minutes. This album is long at 61 minutes and could’ve used a steady hand to edit things down to a lean 45 minutes. The seven-minute-plus “Loser” gets off to a melodic start and then… nothing. Goes nowhere, does nothing. The album doesn’t get interesting until midway through with two strange tracks “Barsoap Hair” and “Mexican Sangwich.” They’re both strange AF lyrically but I love them for their dumbness. Martin doesn’t really break out any killer leads or solos throughout which would’ve really helped the thing, but you get what you get.

A strange cover of The Pogues’ “Navigator” doesn’t go anywhere but it’s funny to hear Hetfield and his gnarl in the background on a song that never would’ve left the Metallica rehearsal room. Several seven- and eight-minute songs go absolutely nowhere and will have you hitting the skip button. Don’t bother trying to find this on digital: it doesn’t exist.

An unexpected cover of FNM’s classic “Surprise! You’re Dead” is shockingly bad. Sounds like a tin can and Martin’s vocals pale with Patton’s death metal growl that made the song so good in the first place. Phew, this was such a letdown… like Indiana Jones finding the Ark of the Covenant and it turns into sand and withers away in his hands. If you’re like me and are a FNM diehard, track it down and be disappointed for yourself. Take my word for it: this is one of the biggest letdowns you will ever hear.

Rating: D

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