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31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE: “ABSOLUTE ZERO”

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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 “Absolute Zero”

Written by Patton (L); Patton (M)

Released 1995

Appears on “Digging The Grave” single; some Australia and Japan editions of King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime album

Produced by Andy Wallace

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

Key lyric “The clock is ticking/You have no authority here.”

Single? B-side.

The climate Faith No More is a band whose least-awesome work is totally awesome, but some fans might’ve nursed lukewarm expectations for King For A Day b-sides. After all, the album was packed with 14 songs (i.e. how many more great jamz could this session yield?) and a couple of those created a weird flow (i.e. were songs of b-side type making the album and why?). Let me explain that second part: If I were an iron-fisted A&R guy working on this record, my recommendation would be to tighten King For A Day by relocating “Star A.D.” (to the artists I’d say, “I love the jam but it’s a weird fit”) and “Cuckoo For Caca” (“I love the jam but it’s close to ‘Ugly In The Morning’). And back in reality, I also pondered the new line-up’s productivity with a weird guitarist and a Bottum-less writing team. This story’s happy ending — as you know cuz you’re a fan or cuz you’ve clicked play (above) and are now rocking — is that I left the shop with my expectations for the “Digging” b-sides about to be demolished. Cuz dude “Absolute Zero” is a b-side only if b stands for buttfuckin’ awesome.

Awesome song elevated to supra-awesomeness by Mike Bordin! I love where he shifts out of that march and into the propulsive chorus beat (at 1:38). I love how his foot is busier on the back end of that same beat (see 2:58 vs. 3:01). I love how he pairs with the guitars to unrivet the tight verses. Tool does that too. So does Trapt. Cough.

Didja know? Since “Zero” is a low-profile FNM song, Mike Patton could surprise the shit out of fans (and maintain his standards of taste) by playing it at non-FNM events. I suggest doing so the next time Tomahawk returns for a fourth encore or on tour for the Patton-Anso DF project that we’ll start working on ten minutes after my barrel of chloroform arrives on his front stoop. Knock knock!

–ADF

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METALSUCKS’ 31 DAYS OF FAITH NO MORE

18 “Absolute Zero”

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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