In celebration for the first new Faith No More album in 18 years I decided to make a (self-explanatory) list of my favorite 15 Faith No More songs. These are purely my own personal favorites, if one of your favorites was left off, too bad. Feel free to comment with your own favorites.
Also this list includes none of the songs from Sol Invictus.
15) “Got That Feeling” (from Album of the Year)
This one is just a short burst of energy that really livens up the otherwise rather mid-paced tone that was 1997’s Album of the Year. I just love the syncopated pattern during the verses that just explodes into this simplistic punk riff that makes me (maybe other people as well?) just want to get up and mosh.
14) “Introduce Yourself” (from Introduce Yourself)
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Chuck Mosley-era FNM but even I have to admit that his tone-deaf rapping did give the band a sense of personality early on that many other bands don’t have (even with technically better singers). This is arguably the second best song from the Mosley-era and it serves as a fitting introduction to the band (but I’m placing it at 14 because I can damn it!).
13) “King for a Day” (from King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime)
I’ve loved this one since I first heard it. It’s probably the closest I would say FNM ever got to “progressive rock”, at least in a traditional genre standard anyway. The acoustic verses contrasted with the heavier choruses and then the rushing bridge – I’m just in awe of it every time I hear it. Pattons vocals go from cool and almost spoken word like to throat-tearing screams. It also has one of my absolute favorite Billy Gould basslines.
12) “Stripsearch” (from Album of the Year)
This one always struck me as being an odd song. It’s synth-rock kind of vibe that is totally out of sync with almost everything else the band ever did (though look who I’m talking about here…). It also always struck me as being a really weird choice for a single when it was released. Regardless, I dig it and I dig Patton’s reference to Welles F for Fake.
11) “Zombie Eaters” (from The Real Thing)
This one is a total highlight from FNM’s breakthrough hit and biggest mainstream release. The soft and subtle opening that gives way to probably one of my favorite moments in ANY song period, where the electric instruments pound in and you just get that solo bass riff. It’s sooooooo good. Fuck-metal/rock has yet to be this fun and playful since this song was released.
10) “Edge of the World” (from The Real Thing)
Probably the first inkling that FNM were more than just a funk-metal/rock band and had a wandering eye. The lounge-style ballad that closed the aforementioned mainstream classic, is easy on the ears. Yet, this is also a song where the lyrics are totally reference pedophilia.
9) “Jizzlobber” (from Angel Dust)
Arguably FNM’s heaviest and most “brutal” song. The doom metal riffs that totally take a page from Sabbath (unsurprisingly) with what is, in my opinion, Mike Patton’s most intense vocal performance on any FNM song. The screams on the chorus are just bone chilling. This one gives me goosebumbs every time I hear it.
8) “Easy” (from Angel Dust)
Yes, I know it’s a B-side and was put on the comps but it was recorded during this period so ease up. Probably one of the best cover songs I’ve ever heard (and I do think that this beats out the band’s cover of “War Pigs” by the way). It’s soulful, but contains just a bit of the band’s trademark quirkiness. Patton sings his way through like a total champ and nails it with aplomb.
7) “The Last to Know” (from King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime)
This one was a grower. I remember I used to skip over this song whenever I’d listen through to this record in particular. It just didn’t do anything for me, but at some point it just started to worm its way into my head. It has one of my favorite vocal performances from Patton on it, a straight ahead, pretty quirk-free, melodic performance. The bridge also has a pretty killer groove as well.
6) “Kindergarten” (from Angel Dust)
A more melodic and straightforward side to FNM, especially for this record – and yet there’s so much here. The subtle fills that each instrument will play throughout but it’s the bridge here that really does it for me (god, this sounds redundant). I’d argue that Gould’s bassline here is the catchiest part of this song. I find myself jamming out/humming that bassline all the time. Also – both a guitar and a bass solo!
5) “Malpractice” (from Angel Dust)
The other contender for the most intense FNM song. This one I place above “Jizzlobber” only because it was one of the most immediate FNM songs I had ever heard. When I was first getting into FNM, I was still really into metalcore and melo-death bands and their funk-metal/rock style on The Real Thing I liked but didn’t love. It wasn’t until I heard this song that I had my mind blown and really wanted to hear more from the band. Taking a cue from Godflesh, the industrial syncopation here is just fantastic. I love how Gould’s bass is still really present in the mix as well, never to be drowned out. Patton’s vocals are just insane and totally rabid – I wish more extreme metal vocalists sounded this intense when they screamed.
4) “We Care A Lot” (from Introduce Yourself)
I can’t deny the power of this song. That groove is just ace in my book. Whether it’s Patton or Mosley doing vocals for this one, it just works. This is probably one of the best funk-metal/rock songs ever recorded in my opinion. Very few songs in the genre get anywhere near the power of this one.
3) “Just A Man” (from King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime)
The soulful end to probably the band’s most eclectic batch of songs. I love the big choir chorus with Patton indulging in his crooning-er side (this was before Mondo Cane keep in mind). One again Gould and Bordin are totally in sync – giving another fantastic groove. It’s certainly not the heaviest, hell, it’s barely even rocking, but I love it because it’s the most grandiose song the band ever wrote.
2) “Land of Sunshine” (from Angel Dust)
This is still one of the most offputting openers to an album I’ve ever heard. The way it opens up, it sounds like you missed a few seconds of the song – but it’s great! It’s so strange, especially for what I think was supposed to be a big mainstream record (at least that’s what I’d think the label would have wanted this to be). It is also probably my favorite bassline in a FNM song. There are days when I just think of that bassline. It’s just such a fun song. Can’t get enough of it.
1) “Caffeine” (from Angel Dust)
Yep, my #1 FNM song is the song that just has it all for me. The uber catchy chorus, the driving guitar riff, the drum fills (oh, the drums fills), that crunchy bass, and the atmospheric keys, and that bridge. This is everything FNM is to me all in a compact 4:30(-ish) minute package. This is easily one of my favorite songs EVER. I could, and have, put this song on replay for days and have yet to tire of it.