I first became an FNM fan with The Real Thing. That album totally blew my mind, so the day Angel Dust came out I naturally rushed out and bought my copy. At first I was a bit disappointed as it sounded totally different. After a couple of listens I realised it was the best album I had ever heard, light years ahead of the Real Thing, if that’s at all possible. From the stark, shocking artwork to the songs on the CD, it is a masterpiece.It seems that everybody has their own interpretations of what the songs are about (and I have my own ideas too) but the feelings I got from the songs – loneliness, sadness, fear, aggression, but at the same time elation, were just as important. Angel Dust came out at a time in my life as a young adult when I was feeling those exact same emotions, and it was just like a soundtrack to my life back then, as if they could see inside my head. Every song is mindblowing but if I could possibly come up with some standouts they would be the frightening Caffeine (I actually think they’re chickens and a cow at the beginning, just like on the back cover), the extremely catchy Mid Life Crisis, the feeling of hopelessness and redundancy in Smaller and Smaller, the powerful Everything’s Ruined, the incredibly aggressive Malpractice, more hopelessness in Kindergarten, the rollercoaster ride that is A Small Victory, the nightmarish Jizzlobber and Midnight Cowboy – such a gentle song after such a powerful album, that it brings out all the emotions. Of course the guys are still in top form – the reason I started worshipping FNM in the first place. How could this music be the same without Jim Martin’s harnessed electricity guitar-playing, Bill Gould’s virtuoso bass techniques, Mike Bordin’s powerful and intricate drum patterns, Roddy Bottum’s eerie keyboard ambience and Mike Patton’s versatile vocals, all setting the scene for the one-hour fright rollercoaster ride ahead. Tragically I can’t say the same thing for their subsequent releases, which never captured the same combination of intensity, musicianship or lyrics that was found here (Jim Martin was sorely missed). Mike Patton said this album was “self-conscious” – I don’t agree, I think “King for a Day” was the self-conscious album, trying too hard to be the opposite of Angel Dust’s dark and menacing mood. When you buy this precious album you won’t know how you survived without it.Mike P, Mike B, Roddy, Bill and Jim, it’s been 10 years. THANK YOU SO MUCH for Angel Dust.