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31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE: “STRIPSEARCH”

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Spurred by a lazy crossword clue in The Onion (36 down, four letters: “Faith No More’s only hit”), MetalSucks contributor Anso DF dedicates every single day in August to celebration and exploration of the San Francisco alt-metal greats. Here we prove that history’s greatest band landed more than one commercial hit (crossword answer: “Epic” natch), we revel in FNM’s embarrassing wealth of winning album tracks (themselves often fit for chart topping), and we dip into the staggering best of the b-sides (ditto). Along the way, we survey the context of FNM’s big break (amid similarly seminal acts Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, and Ween) to post-Nevermind, panic-based music commerce in which the brilliantly versatile, fearless powerhouse band operated until their 1998 demise. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Song “Stripsearch”

Written by Patton (L); Hudson, Patton, Bordin, Gould (M)

Released 1997

Appears on Album of the Year album

Produced by Roli Mosimann (Swans, Wiseblood), Billy Gould

Guitars by Jon Hudson

Key lyric “Don’t be ashamed/Next in line/Close one eye/Just walk by”

Single? Yes, AotY‘s third and final (preceded by “Ashes To Ashes” and “Last Cup Of Sorrow”)

The climate Faith No More might’ve been ailing by Album of the Year, their most grim and least cohesive release with Patton. If “Ashes” and “Sorrow” defined band mood, then “Stripsearch” hammered at it: despair. And the rise of Limp Bizkit was still to come. A 1999 FNM record would’ve been interesting.

Awesome song elevated to supra-awesomeness by a few awesome touches: There’s that cool squelchy loop, Patton’s cry-for-help backing vocals, and the track’s guitarlessness ended by Hudson’s starkly beautiful solo — that last thing makes a fan want more FNM with Hudson.

Didja know? Bassist Billy Gould was quoted saying that the five-note loop saved “Stripsearch” from sounding like Queensryche and helped it to sound like Portishead. When asked for comment, Geoffs Tate and Barrow replied, “We wish.”

-ADF

METALSUCKS’ 31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE

3 “Stripsearch”

2 “Ricochet” (read)

1 “Land Of Sunshine” (read)

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