31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE: “MALPRACTICE”
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 the 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.
Written by Patton (L); Patton (M).
Appears on Angel Dust album
Produced by Matt Wallace
Guitars by Jim Martin
Key lyric ”The crowd roars/The pulling and the probing/The rest you know/Ten lovers violating.”
Single? No. “Malpractice” closes the whirlwind side A of Angel Dust.
The climate Two weeks into 31Do’FNM on MetalSucks, we’ve now covered each of the three Angel Dust jamz in which singer Mike Patton unleashes his unholy banshee scream (read also here and here). But nowhere is his (xOx) wail more spine-chilling than in “Malpractice,” a Gilliam-meets-Burton horror epic built on scary impressions of carnage-free operating table invasion. Why? First, recall that in 1992 few of us had encountered this level of prolonged oral maelstrom (maybe Bathory?), so all sphincters tightened upon impact of the “APPLAAUUUUUUSE!!” (at 1:25) and “AAAAPPLAAAAAAAAAUSE!” (at 1:39).
Secondly: As Angel Dust‘s most chaotic jam, “Malpractice” already sends a jolt to listeners whom, by track seven, have been prepared for hellish ear-hammering (again, here and here) but then are softened by the bright, singable, chest-swelling joy of “Everything’s Ruined” one song earlier. That’s a nightmarish blindside, even before the screams. Like, imagine emerging from a sunlit park to plummet through an open manhole onto a undulating, city block-sized waterbed filled with boiling oil where you scramble for footing, disoriented and clutching at your ringing ears. And that’s when the C.H.U.D.s come at you.
Awesome song elevated to supra-awesomeness by Patton (as above). Oh also by keyboard stud Roddy Bottum, a seeming sweetie-pie who is totally game for some traumatizing keyboard parts. That’s my suggestion for the title of his autobiography.
Didja know? “Malpractice” helped me on the path to ejection from my college residence hall when a do-gooder P.C. thug reported to university authorities that I’d been blaring “rock music with hateful lyrics” one weekend. To her ears, Patton’s “Applause” was a racist chant in favor of “Wop Laws” or “Wop Loss.” Srsly what the fuck? What person born after 1920 even knows the term wop? It was the weirdest fucking thing I’d ever heard/been accused of, but it was later cleared up (with lyric sheet and a surreal listening party). Then things were fine for me there until some fuckface falsely accused me of possessing 20 hits of ecstasy. What a bunch of bullshit. It was way more than 20 hits.
METALSUCKS’ 31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE
13 “Ugly In The Morning” (read)
12 “The Cowboy Song” (read)
11 “Helpless” (read)
10 “Smaller And Smaller” (read)
9 “Digging The Grave” (read)
8 “From Out Of Nowhere” (read)
7 “Last Cup Of Sorrow” (read)
6 “The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies” (read)
5 “Caffeine” (read)
4 “Falling To Pieces” (read)
3 “Stripsearch” (read)
2 ”Ricochet” (read)
1 ”Land Of Sunshine” (read)