Fuck This: Faith No More – Tribute of the Year, Disk 2

Shortly after completing part one of "Fuck This: Tribute of the Year", I began to feel ill. I'm not making this up. For about three weeks, I felt malaised, lethargic… unwell. I'm a productive type and I lead a very busy life. To that end, I often don't sleep enough or eat properly, but this was different. A fog engulfed and enfeebled my brain. I spent most of my time sleeping. I dreamed of audio equipment failing; my monitors dying, my soundcard needing repair, my synths all had broken keys. I'm not saying that Tribute of the Year was the impetus for this lazy plague of subtle monotony, but I can think of no scientific test to prove it wasn't the cause of it either. Aside from, perhaps… reviewing the second disk. So know this, dear reader; I am putting myself, potentially, at harm's doorstep, finger paused on the buzzer, a scorching, pungent bag of canine feces perched upon the “NO SOLICITORS” mat. Should the reaper crack his door, and my soul be called to that great blog in the sky, I want you to know that you're at least partly responsible for my demise. Dispensed of my floral prose, what I mean to say plainly is, should I die because I reviewed this god-awful fuckpit of aural insipitude, everyone who reads this had a controlling share on the NASDAQ of my death. On with the misery.

Grim Faeries – "Jizzlobber"

When you title a song “Jizzlobber”, you need to deliver the fucking goods. You cant write a ditty, or a twee piece of pastoral balladry. Not that FNM were really given to those kinds of aural outings, but when you were a walking acne commercial in the nineties, and you finally got your sweaty mitts on a copy of Angel Dust, and you sat there in The Wall listening to the thing, looking at the track listing, and you were like “Jizzlobber? I NEED to hear this song. NOW.” and then the song bashed your head in with weird ass experimental hardcore insanity, you knew the track was deserving of the title. Now take that entire experience and cut its balls off with a pair of rusty safety scissors like some kind of discount neutering.

The track is divided into two fairly distinct halves of terribleness, like some kind of awful segmented turd. The first half of this song sounds exactly like what you'd expect to hear after enduring 12 shitty industrial FNM covers. An inexpertly produced and poorly mixed attempt to recreate greatness with a Dr. Rhythm drum machine, a rented Nord Lead and the “weirdest” sounding effects on a Zoom G1X in the wrong place on the vocal effects chain. It appears that the guitarist couldnt even handle playing the actual guitar line, and sweet fuck are those vocals annoying. Then, at about 3:05, shit goes nuclear as the band tries to emulate the extended breakdown that comprises the second half of the song, but it just sounds like a bunch of synthesizers getting gang-raped to death, the weediest guitar tone this side of one of those novelty sized Marshall JCM pocket amps, and a bunch of spookidy-doo try-hard Suspiria vocals, ditching the awesome pipe organ ending (I’ll take 40 dicks to the mouth if any of the members of the band could even play it) in favor of the “metalizer” switch on a Korg Electribe and more Suspiria wannabe whisper growls. God damnit, I wish I was watching Suspiria rather than listening to this infested dungheap. Shit, Im going to do that right now.

[2 hours later] Annnnnd, we're back. The fuck was I doing again? Oh… right. [inconsolable sobbing]

Hate Dept. – "Edge of the World"

When I was about 20 years old, I had the good fortune of seeing My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult at the Trocadero in Philly and they were dead on the whole night. One of the greatest TKK shows Ive ever seen. Hate Dept. opened up for them, and Siebold actually spit in my face during their performance. Twice. Which may or may not have some bearing on the fact that I think Hate Dept. are a bunch of ego-hyped apes with synthesizers who've managed to do nothing but fart the same tepid “rock” flavored EBM out of the ass end of the bloated corpse that is the industrial rock genre for the last 20 years. Moreover, this song is fucking garbage. The music isnt terrible, but Siebold's whining, wheezing, vocals lack breath support or talent or tone or any of the things that make a singer good. AND he fucks up the inflection and timing of the words, AND he oddly changes the line “Its not the point that I'm 40 years older” to, “Its not the point that I'm so much older”. This song is so terrible that potentially sounding like a pedo should have been the least of Siebolds concerns here.

Germ Theory – "A Small Victory"

If Mark Gormley was an avid Mr. Bungle fan.

Die:Schon – "We Care A Lot"

Well, this is a significant improvement over the Parallax 1 cover of this song, but thats a bit like saying being born with all your organs on the outside of your body is a significant improvement over being born with a giant watermelon instead of a head. Holy fuck, did they force people to cover these songs at gunpoint or something? No one with an ounce of self respect would approach music as high energy as this with such overwhelming indifference. This actually knobs us smack dab into…

New Low – "Blood"

I admit, I was actually completely unfamiliar with the original version of this song. I was never a big fan of pre-Mike Patton FNM, but recently I've come around to the Chuck Mosely era. One thing I've noticed about Faith No More, as a band, is the amazing consistency with which the band propagated their vision. All the way up until the final album, the very kernel of Faith No More could be detected in every single song. In fact, the only album I think really slips a little bit is The Real Thing, where Patton tried a bit too hard to replace Chuck Mosley, as opposed to letting the weird Ubermind that propelled the band do the driving. Oh wait… did I digress with fond reminiscence on how amazing a band Faith No More was/is (taking into consideration their weird live incarnation eigenstate)? I forgot for a moment that I was reviewing 12 million cover versions of their material by people who have never heard the songs before.

When this cover to started play for the first time, I actually mistook it for a wrongly tagged file, misplaced in the “disappointments room” that is the folder that houses Tribute of the Year on my hard drive. For starters it was shockingly well produced and mixed, which was my first red flag. Secondly, I thought I was listening to the fucking Dandy Warhols or the Kaiser Chiefs or some bullshit, because this song is literally indistinguishable from every other indie rock song ever released for chart consideration on college radio.  If you never have, I want you to listen to this song: 

 

That shit is badass, right? Got a kind of exotic, ethereal feel to it, but it also kicks your teeth in and asks for pie. It's the kind of shit you could Tae Bo like a motherfucker to. Now imagine if that song were written by Harvey Danger. Congratulations, you now have brain cancer.

Fountainhead – "Naked in Front of the Computer"

I'm going to call it right now. This is the best track on this album. This song is actually not terrible. Okay, aside from the fact that it kind of sounds like Limp Bizkit in the quiet parts. Goddamnit, thats two Limp Bizkit references in a single, albeit 2-part review. Christ, I hate this album in ways I didn't even realise until just now. Well, anyway, the heavy parts of the song sound like Helmet and thats okay, mostly because Helmet fucking kicked ass. The only thing this band has going for it is that they sort of sound like Helmet sometimes and they named themselves after an Ayn Rand book. Well, maybe not so much the second thing. Now I've mentioned Limp Bizkit AND Ayn Rand in the same paragraph and I sincerely think I want to kill myself. Im gonna see if I can get HR to sign off on paying me in bottles of aspirin and Popov. Might be my last review guys. Not sure how much more of this I can take.

Basement Love Underground – "Stripsearch"

Breaking the mold is not something, heretofore, that this album has really specialised in. Unless you count “most atrocious number of covers in a 2 disc package not worth the plastic its printed on,” but thats sort of a subjective judgment call (though, admittedly, you would have to be criminally retarded to enjoy just about any song on this album). Where this album truly finds a new way to slice bread is in its bold and daring strategy of allowing multiple versions of the same &^%#’ing song by different, incompetent artists.

Typically, when youre putting together a covers album, if Band X wants to cover Song A, and Band Y is already covering Song A, you tell Band X to go fuck themselves and cover any one of songs B through Z that arent already being covered by bands Z though, uh…

Anyway, the point is that Faith No More wrote more than 30 songs. Off the top of my head I can think of at least 5 other Faith No More songs these tubes could have butchered, but it turns out theyd already mutilated Stripsearch, so Underground Inc. was like “Might as well bung it on the disk anyway. Its at least as shitty as every other half assed piece of auditory detritus on the thing.”

And can I take a minute to point out how idiotic the band name “Basement Love Underground” is? A basement, by its very nature, is already underground. What the fuck is the implication there? You love basements and you live in a burrow, wherein you express that fondness? Some sort of radical group of fetishists who can only get off in sublevel interiors?

Whats that? How does the song sound, you ask? SURPRISE, its awful.

Sickend – "Midlife Crisis"

There was a point in the late 90's where metal bands thought it was a good idea to take the time honoured hip hop trope of “urbanising” song titles and group names and cracker-fy it, because rap and metal were now “down” with each other, and rap-metal was going to be like, 4 lyfe and never fade away. Bro-hugs and saggy Kikwear aside, Sickend’s version of Midlife Crisis is a touch more tolerable than Bile’s version, but Bile’s version had the rotting albatross of the fact that Bile was the band covering the song slung over its shoulders from the get-go, so pretty much all any other band had to do was not be Bile, or spontaneously implode in the studio while recording the song and they stood a fair chance of having an objectively better version, by dint of said band merely not being or containing any members of Bile. Still, this is pretty bad.

On a scale of “not at all good” to “I wouldn't delete it from my iPod”, this song is about a “high school talent show”. Mixing pro-tip, properly engineered reverb on vocals makes it sound like you recorded it in an actual room, and not an anechoic chamber in the dead of night.

SMP – "Another Body Murdered"

Oh good. A song that hasnt been previously covered by a bunch of drunken college goths who misappropriated their disbursement funds to buy a Korg Triton. I blame the album this song is originally off of for pretty much all of the second half of the 90’s, the first few years of the aughts, and the entirety of Linkin Parks career. Be-dreadlocked white kids rapping, and Star Trek samples aren't doing it any favors either.

New Grenada – "Why Do You Bother?"

I have to admit, if there’s one genetically sound child that has been born out of the sordid, interspecies affair of this long form review, its that I've really fallen in love with Chuck Mosely era FNM, and it’s like I’ve got a whole new sonic landscape of the band to explore, which is admittedly a beautiful and promising feeling that I honestly didn't think was something that would have ever been possible for me. Which makes it even more egregious that the peons in New Grenada ruined this burgeoning feeling of discovery in the usually cynical wasteland of negativity that is my brain.

New Grenada is the answer to the question “what if Hawkwind were addicted to lead paint chips instead of amphetamine?” A question only one person (me) ever asked, and literally no one in the world ever wanted an answer to. Yet, heres New Grenada to quell the mystery nobody wanted solved, like some kind of fetal alcohol syndrome Scooby Doo. Jinkies, I want to die!

Humans Being – "Surprise, You're Dead"

“Humans Being” is the kind of band name that stupid people think is clever. This cover isn't all that terrible, but it's got two things working against it.

  1. Hardcore. Everyone on this album was apparently so stifled, creatively, that all they could come up with when tasked with re-imagining these songs was either “shitty industrial” or “literal interpretation of the creative roots of the track”. Obviously, Surprise Youre Dead is FNM's take on a crossover thrash song. Humans Being interpreted that as “okay, it's a crossover thrash song, then,” and played it straight. Booooring.
  2. 2. FUCKING VOCAL TIMING. SING ON THE GODDAMNED BEAT, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!?                 AHHHGGHGHHGHGHH

Window Pane – "Spirit"

Things I need to do today:

Never listen to this song again.

Son of Indra – "Digging the Grave"

This album should be used to illustrate to new singers what happens when you think you can sing outside your range and ability. The problem with that is the catch 22 of encouraging people to listen to this hunk of shit for any reason whatsoever.

Mukrak – "The Real Thing"

Mukrak is either a terminally moronic person's attempt at hip-hop-ifying the word “muckrake”, a region of Afghanistan, or a rejected Pokémon. The award for “Worst Song on this Album” is actually a tossup between the Sump Pumps version of whatever the fuck song it was they covered, because at this point I'm so fed up with this crap that I can't even be arsed to reference my own previously published article on the matter, and this ponderous, unlistenable 11-minute marathon of sewage piped directly into your brain via your ear canals. What really does this clunker in are the vocals. I don’t know who was in charge of not making the vocals sound like someone was puking into a box fan, but I hope they were burned to death and mounted on a pike outside the studio as an example to the next engineer in charge of making sure that vocals don’t ever sound like that. I literally have a headache from listening to this song. This album has caused me physical pain. I hope you’re happy. This kind of thing is definitely not covered by the Deaf Sparrow health insurance package. Thanks Obama.

Combine Heathen – "The Real Thing"

Annnnd, as a final fuck you, the album closes with a shitty dub version of a song previously covered by another band I dearly hate. Combine Heathen? What are you, pagan oat farmers? Im so done with this shit.

 

Weve had a lot of laughs here tonight, but what I really want you folks to take away from this review is that this album is unequivocally one of the worst things that has ever happened to music. The Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper plane crash was a walk in the park compared to this album. I would happily watch Dimebag get shot, stabbed, eviscerated, whatever, like a million times over, rather than listen to more than ten minutes of this album ever again. Lulu is a masterpiece compared to this steaming pile of horseshit. This album makes Nicki Minaj sound like Yma Sumac. Im going to listen to some Maroon 5 right now. Its going to be glorious because theres absolutely no chance that any of their music will be the music contained on this album.

Goodnight and good lulz. 
 
Written by Mort Subite