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Faith No More Who Cares A Lot? The Greatest Videos and Live At the Brixton Academy, London - You Fat Bastards

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 @ 9:33 AM


On Rhino Home Video

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Faith No More may be long gone, but it will definitely be a long while before the ground-breaking Bay Area band are forgotten — especially now with the re-issue of their long-out-of-print home videos on DVD. Remastered and paired together in one convenient two-disc package, Who Cares A Lot? and You Fat Bastards serve as a not-so-subtle reminder of just how subversively influential Faith No More were —unconventional acts like System of a Down and The Dillinger Escape Plan and, unfortunately, most of the rap-metal knuckle draggers can thank the band for paving the way for them.

Who Cares A Lot?, a compilation of the band’s promo videos, does the better job of two DVDs in charting Faith No More’s evolution from smart-ass funksters (“Anne’s Song” and the brilliant “We Care A Lot” with goofy former singer Chuck Moseley) into one of the most unflinchingly daring major label bands of ‘90s with demented genius Mike Patton at the mic. Sadly, it was that same daring that ultimately led to the band’s demise as they became harder and harder for the suits to sell amid the sea of plaid-clad Nirvana clones — they finally called it quits after becoming known more for their cheeseball covers (“I Started A Joke,” “Easy”) and spot-on lounge songs (“Evidence,” “This Guy’s In Love With You”) than anything else.

Sure the rap-happy anthem “Epic” made Faith No More famous in 1989, but when viewed in context with the 17 other tracks on Who Cares?, it can be seen for what it was — a novelty that worked. In fact, the band seemed bent on being more ambitious and adventurous in “Epic’s” aftermath, almost as if they wanted to wipe the taste of it from their mouths. And with the likes of the brutal “Caffeine,” filmed before a perplexed MTV studio audience,” the grotesque “A Small Victory” and the rampaging “Digging The Grave,” Faith No More found its Listerine, and scared off fans in droves. Commercial suicide never looked or sounded so good.

You Fat Bastards was filmed in London when Faith No More was at the peak of their “Epic”-fueled fame and the enigmatic Patton was still finding his way as a frontman/rock star, having had just joined the band for The Real Thing album. His other band, Mr. Bungle, performed in costume and were so musically off the wall that showmanship — and large audiences — was never an issue. With Faith No More, at least at first, Patton masked his unease with the spotlight with forced, often annoying, weirdness and copped his stage moves from Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Keidis. Patton would later become a commanding showman and make Faith No More hands down one of the best live acts around, but on Fat Bastards its hard not to feel embarrassed for him and his jumping-bean, hair-swinging antics and lame jokiness. And yet in spite of this, the band deliver an electrifying performance powered by Jim Martin’s dive-bombing riffs and the fluid, but super-tight rhythm section of Bill Gould and Mike Bordin. Long-forgotten obscurities like “As The Worm Turns” and the monumental “Zombie Eaters” are simply dazzling — especially when Patton demonstrates his remarkable vocal gymnastics —and showed the promise Faith No More would deliver in spades onstage for the remainder of their career. Too bad it couldn’t have last longer.

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