Release DetailsLABEL Rhino
RELEASED ON 5/23/2006
Faith No More
Live At The Brixton Academy, London - You Fat B**tards (DVD)
posted on 6/2006 By:
“They’re kinda like The Red Hot Chili Peppers.” “I’ve never listened to them” I answered”. The record store clerk chortled and asked “Dude, where’ve you been?”. “Listening to Slayer” I shot back, not liking his condescension. As I stared at the cassette of Introduce Yourself, which the clerk had taken out of the locking glass case—you know, the kind you guys buy video games from nowadays--my new pal informed me that I might wanna wait to experience Faith No More for the first time, as they had a new album coming out in a couple weeks. “Supposed to be good—they’ve got a new lead singer”. I took his advice, and waited for the release of The Real Thing. And I liked it. A whole lot. Like, a shitload. The timing of it really worked as well. By the end of the 80s the dust was settling on the thrash boom, most of the old guard—the Priests, Sabbaths, etc. had taken a serious turn for the worse, and you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting some sugar spewing hair metal asshats. The Real Thing, along with other albums released that year, like Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing Shocking and Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love, as well as the following year’s Killing Joke album Extremities, Dirt, and Various Repressed Emotions, appealed to me (and others I’m sure, but lets face it, I’m really only concerned about me) as brilliant albums that, while not quite metal, had a dark heaviness and unique, genre-melding styles that were totally engrossing and addictive. Those albums made enough of an impression to be counted among my very favorite to this day, and so it was great to find in my mailbox the recent two-fer reissue of Faith No More’s video releases—the Who Cares A Lot music video retrospective and 1991’s Live at the Brixton Academy, London:You Fat Bastards. Both had been out of print.
The Fat Bastards disc has the most to offer here. While I may not quite agree with the commonly voiced sentiment that this video catches FNM at their pinnacle, it most definitely captures the time when the band was coming into its own and had really caught lightning in a bottle. They became a better live band later in their career, but there’s no denying their youthful exuberance, especially newcomer Mike Patton, who jumped around incessantly and still looked a little like Silent Bob’s Jay. As you’d expect, the setlist came almost exclusively from The Real Thing, despite the fact that it was their third album. The Chuck Mosely-era was represented by “We Care A Lot” and “As the Worm Turns”, and the latter turns out to be a highlight of the set. The other nine tracks come from TRT, which covers the entire album, with the exception of the metallic “Surprise! You’re Dead” and the less played “The Morning After”. The band’s performance was tight and enthusiastic and the packed house at The Brixton greeted it with energy and appreciation. Faith No More’s well-documented performance eccentricities are captured, like Patton’s goofy and bizarre vocal deviations from the album versions, and occasional brief interjections of current inane pop songs (the chorus of a New Kids on the Block track even rares its ugly but perfectly coiffed head). The set closes with the loping instrumental “Woodpecker From Mars”, before the band returns for the twisted “Zombie Eaters” and their trademark cover (and shining example of their metal cred), “War Pigs”. Both discs have been remastered and the video and sound are solid. Disc one has a sixty-minute runtime.
Disc two consists of the band’s videography, Who Cares A Lot (a greatest hits album of the same name was also released, but contains a different tracklist). This collection was originally released in 1999, so it contains work from throughout the band’s career. The set opens with Faith No More’s two most prominent videos: Angel Dust’s first single, “Midlife Crisis”, and of course, the band’s breakout song, “Epic”. From there, the tracklist moves in quasi-chronological order. Interspersed between the earlier clips are short, often odd pieced video footage from that time. Video collections aren’t that appealing to me, but this one is interesting if only because of the handful videos that will be new to many fans. “Anne’s Song”, which has to be the band’s first effort, is a horrid video from the Chuck days that fans will surely love to cringe at, and the low budget “Surprise! You’re Dead” is fun and good for a laugh as well. A version of “Caffeine”, which looks to have come from the MTV beach house or some shit, is a nice inclusion. It’s a heavier track as it is, but when it’s done live, Patton’s slurring roar is downright frightening, and half the crowd looks like they’re asking each other “Where the fuck’s Hootie right about now?”. Several of the videos from the last couple albums were new to me as well, including “Evidence” from the inconsistent King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime, and “Stripsearch”, and “Ashes to Ashes” from the band’s swansong, Album of the Year. The collection closes with vids of two covers that I’ve never been crazy about—The Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke” (but the video for this is awesome) and a live version of Burt Bacharach’s “This Guy’s in Love With You”. It’s worth mentioning that although the packaging claims this disc’s runtime as 120 minutes, there’s only about 80 minutes of content. I realize that although this review is running long and it’s light on description, but it’s likely that those who will be interested in this already have either seen these releases in their original form, or know enough about Faith No More to know what to expect. If not, what are you waiting for? Catch the fuck up. Great band, much missed.
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