31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE: “SMALLER AND SMALLER”
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 “Smaller And Smaller”
Written by Patton (L); Gould, Bordin, Bottum, Wallace (M)
Appears on Angel Dust album
Produced by Matt Wallace
Guitars by Jim Martin
Key lyric “Someday the rains will come/My blistered hands tell me/Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.”
The climate Listeners reach “Smaller And Smaller” around Angel Dust‘s midpoint, after the wry waltz “RV” and before arena-sized major-key jam “Everything’s Ruined.” In this way, and among the acts of “Smaller” itself, FNM demonstrates their matching of “the beautiful and the sick” (their words). That concept manifests also on the album art (graceful egret vs. animal processing plant) and in the album’s title (least pleasant drug ever vs. heavenly particles).
Awesome song elevated to supra-awesomeness by one of Mike Bordin’s most entrancing, throbbing beats (and tacets). Or wait, maybe it’s Jim Martin’s loping guitar solo, the latter half of which implies a prostrate man struggling to stand, managing a few steps, then thrice returning to the ground. Actually, it’s probably Mike Patton’s skin-peeling screams of “Biiiite!” Yet on some days, I feel that “Smaller”‘s best attribute is the closing measures in which bassist Billy Gould takes control of the chorus riff (at 3:55 and accented by Martin’s ringing power chord). Then again, another songwriter has yet to match its lyrics’ tale of mid-drought dementia (a metaphor for hope vs. um everything that sucks about life). Let’s call it a five-way tie.
Didja know? “Smaller” has its own rain dance (at 2:10), represented by samples of “aboriginal chanting” and depicting the height of our atrophied protagonist’s desperation. Goosebumps x10000.
METALSUCKS’ 31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE
10 “Smaller And Smaller”
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)