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31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE: “PRISTINA”

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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 “Pristina”

Written by Patton (L); Patton, 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 “In every dark land/In every flower bed/In every marriage bed/I’ll be with you.”

Single? No.

The climate The final song of FNM’s final album (cough as of this writing cough cough) sounds very final. Its lyrics are a farewell, its music mostly a repetition of a song’s concluding note and sustain. Game over, man.

Awesome song elevated to supra-awesomeness by its narrative and message. I think the lyrics of “Pristina” depict a parting. In the first verse, we bid goodbye to the departed with a promise to keep their memory safe from time and intrusion (at :37); the second verse finds the departed likewise pledging devotion and a lasting presence in our private moments (at 1:56); we’ll go on to love again, even marry (“In every marriage bed”), but never will we look far for reminders of this now-broken bond (“In every flower bed”). Or something like that? Anyway, “Pristina” sounds serious and dramatic, but to me, it symbolizes FNM’s break up and the shocking but not unexpected way they just cut me loose to follow other bands. I’m the speaker in the first verse; they reciprocate in the second. Yep. When I eventually go all Charles Manson, this will be my proof that FNM is talking directly to me on their records.

Didja know? Seldom does Faith No More express such a gooey sentiment, so I have searched a lot for clues to “Pristina”‘s inspiration. Is the word pristina a feminization of pristine? Is it a reference to the capital city of Kosovo, which at the time of this jam’s recording headquartered Kosovar Albanians’ resistance to Yugoslav rule and ethnic cleansing? Is it from a book or a movie or something? Well, in 14 years since AotY‘s release, my only progress is having learned that a Connecticut veincore band is named for the song, that a tune by hipster deities Sleater-Kinney shares the title, and that I need to interview FNM. Billy Gould call me!

–ADF

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METALSUCKS’ 31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE

29 “Pristina”

28 “What A Day” (read)

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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