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31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE: “WHAT A DAY”

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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 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.

Song “What A Day”

Written by Patton (L); Patton, Spruance (M)

Released 1995

Appears on King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime album

Produced by Andy Wallace

Guitars by Trey Spruance (Secret Chiefs 3, Mr. Bungle)

Key lyric “‘Kill the body and the head will die.’”

Single? No.

The climate “What A Day” is a perky Patton jam that follows “King For A Day,” the most harrowing and lengthy song on this FNM album. This song is given the same duties as “A Small Victory” (on Angel Dust) and “Underwater Love” (The Real Thing): to pick up the mood after lots of serious vibes. Predictably, “What A Day” is as awesome as those songs and contains a top-five Patton chorus. At least it sounds classic, cuz the meaning of this song’s lyrics eludes me. At least I get the gist of the chorus, cuz I know firsthand how certain days are maddening enough to get you nauseated by the thought of repeating them. Soon.

Awesome song elevated to supra-awesomeness by the big heavy jam at the end. “Don’t you touch it!”

Didja know? I saw Faith No More on the K4AD tour at a radio concert event. There were two stages for a dozen-ish ’90s alternative bands (Letters To Cleo ripped 4rlz), all sponsored by the local alternative radio station. FNM played the bigger 23,000-capacity venue just as The Ramones played to the packed medium-sized stage. The FNM set was around 40 minutes long and not well attended cuz everybody was at The Ramones. Bummer for them cuz FNM smashed. Our closest neighbors in the cheap seats were 30 rows away, so I spent half of “Evidence” arguing with security for permission to migrate down front. No deal, so that was bullshit. But even from the back, it was clear that — The Ramones or not — FNM was out to play the shit out of their loud stuff, best of all a shit-stomping “What A Day,”. If only I had been close enough to get a whiff of the shit. Damn.

–ADF

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METALSUCKS’ 31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE

28 “What A Day”

27 “Epic” “Epic” “Epic” (read)

26 “Everything’s Ruined” (read)

25 “Underwater Love” (read)

24 “Crack Hitler” (read)

23 “Home Sick Home” (read)

22 “The Perfect Crime”!!!! (read)

21 “A Small Victory” (read)

20 “King For A Day” (read)

19 “The World Is Yours” (read)

18 “Absolute Zero” (read)

17 “Collision” (read)

Intermission “Das Schutzenfest” (read)

16 “The Last To Know” (read)

15 “The Real Thing” (read)

14 “Malpractice” (read)

13 ”Ugly In The Morning” (read)

12 “The Cowboy Song” (read)

11 “Helpless” (read)

10 “Smaller And Smaller” (read)

9 “Digging The Grave” (read)

“From Out Of Nowhere” (read)

“Last Cup Of Sorrow” (read)

6 “The Gentle Art Of Making Enemies” (read)

“Caffeine” (read)

“Falling To Pieces” (read)

“Stripsearch” (read)

2 ”Ricochet” (read)

1 ”Land Of Sunshine” (read)

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