This album was a life-changer for me. Some twenty years later it still invokes the same drama and passion, and leaves me wanting to yell and scream and cry and live. Having grown up in the punk/grunge/speed metal years, and having dabbled in all of them in my wasted youth, I would take this album on a deserted island. Dinosaur Jr., the Replacements and the Minutemen would be a close second.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Before the legendary Mike Patton joined the group, there was Chuck Mosley. I was a little skeptical in getting this at first since I wasn’t very familiar with Mosley’s vocal style. I had heard a few songs of his, none of which I was a big fan of, but had to get this to add to my Faith No More collection. My opinion of Mosley hasn’t changed at all. I still think it sounds like he was drunk when recording this stuff, and his voice is a bit irritating. The ‘talking’ parts at the beginning of songs like “Death March” are annoying, and the lyrics on most of these tracks are just stupid…certainly the worst I’ve ever heard on any FNM record.
So why exactly did I give this album such a high rating? Simply put, the rest of the band sounds amazing here. Unlike future FNM albums, this one seems to be bass dominated, as evident on the band’s first minor hit, “We Care A Lot”. I’ve always thought that Billy Gould was an amazingly underrated bassist, and his work really shines on this album. The guitars are also some of the best I’ve heard on any Faith No More albums, and some of the choruses are downright catchy.
The many electronics used in the making of this album were also something different. I’ve never really considered Faith No More to be rap-rock or rap-metal, but there are a few moments where Mosley will start rapping (something that I’ve never seen Patton do). That may sound bad when you read it, but it’s pulled off nicely on songs like “Chinese Arithmetic” and “The Crab Song”. The overall feel of this album sounds pretty dark, definitely not as dark as “Angel Dust”, but more so than “The Real Thing”. If you’re a fan of the band, this one’s worth picking up.
After purchasing Introduce Yourself mistakenly when looking for that rock/rap song that set it all off, I tossed the disc in the drawer for six months after hearing Chuck Mosely sing “Stylin, you know you are stylin.” I thought he was an abomination. After playing the hell out of The Real Thing and becoming an addict, I gave Introduce Yourself a second chance. Chuck Mosely grew on me, and this cd is just as good as The Real Thing. This is my second since the first one wore out. Is Chuck a good singer? Who cares, I love this CD, and I love Chuck too.
Okay, before I go ahead with the review itself, let’s get some facts straight. Yes, Mike Patton is definitely a much more accomblished singer than Chuck Mosely ever was. Yes, it was definitely necessary for the band to switch Chuck Mosely out with someone else to progress both commercially and musically.
Does looking at these facts in retrospect make “Introduce Yourself” any less of a great album? No way! This little gem of a Faith No More album, is often disregarded simply because the lead singer isn’t called Mike Patton. Instead, his name is Chuck Mosely and his vocal style is abrasive, brutish and more streetwise. However, like Patton would eventually end up do on “The Real Thing” (in his own way, of course), Mosely alters between elevated singing, rapping, back-up choir overdubs and various vocal effects. This multi-vocal approach fits in perfectly with the band’s genre-blending sound. Unfortunately, Mosely doesn’t quite have the same level of consistency as Patton, and on a couple of songs (especially on the latter half of the album) he falls through. But on the songs that does indeed work, he gives the songs a ton of character, and you come to accept and appreciate his raw approach. Speaking of the rest of the band, although all of them would, naturally, take their playing to the next level on “The Real Thing” they no less demonstrate the chops that would launch them into the limelight a few years later. Anyone who enjoys the band’s sound from their next couple of records will feel right at home. Billy Gould’s rocking and slapping bass, Roddy Bottum’s ethereal keyboard sounds, Mike Bordin’s thunderous drumming, Jim Martin’s distorted metal guitars…it’s here.
Song highlights of “Introduce Yourself” include, “Faster Disco”, “Annie’s Song”, “Introduce Yourself”, “Chinese Arithmetic” and “We Care A Lot”. Listening to these songs, it’s great to hear that the band themselves realized what worked and what didn’t and evolved their sound accordingly on “The Real Thing”. It’s not hard to imagine that the massive hit “Epic” was fashioned in the image the funky bass/drum verse, sing a long word emphasis of “We Care A Lot”. It was definitely on this album that Faith No More found their initial style, both songwise and soundwise.
I really recommend this album to anyone who can look (hear) past the first confusing minutes of “Huh? This guy sound like Mike Patton” and give Mosely a chance.
I consider this to be one of the top ten greatest albums of all time.This 1987 release is more than a decade ahead of its time with its blend of rap, metal and punk, with a soul and a power that blows away today’s Limp Bizkits like so many dry, dead leaves.Why do I love this album? For one, this band has an understanding of the principle of dynamics, something that even technically gifted bands like Metallica tend to lack. This album lifts you to the heights of head-banging ecstasy, fully on a level with newly-appreciated (thanks to Mike Myers) breakdown in Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody– then it drops you into a cool pond of still water, where you lie, floating for a moment, before being grabbed by the collar and thrown against the wall. All of this is done within the space of a single song, using the most sophisticated and subtle musical devices.Overall, this album is superior to the band’s other efforts, in terms of musical greatness, technical execution and strength of emotion. It is one of those rare, seemingly divinely inspired and powerfully executed works of art that truly warrants the overused and now diluted term of “genius.” The only band today to which I could compare FNM on this album, at least in terms of emotional delivery and sheer power, is the mighty System Of A Down, who has achieved comparable moments of greatness, although not quite as consistently or thoroughly as FNM does on this tour de force. I do believe that SOAD has the potential to put out an album this good some day.I won’t state a position on the “which singer is better” issue. Mike Patton and Chuck Mosley have completely different styles and musical personalities. I will mention, though, that Chuck Mosley provides a raw insanity, beautifully balanced with a sense of humor. His sloppiness, juxtaposed against the iron-fist-in-a-silk-glove sound of the rest of the band, who are all phenomenally talented and expressive musicians, pushes the band to a level that is virtually impossible to achieve when all of the musicians are “smooth,” technically precise performers. In other words, his imperfections are an essential part of the album’s greatness. Favorite tracks: The Crab Song and Chinese Arithmetic