FAITH NO MORE – Introduce Yourself (1987 Slash)
Faith No More’s second LP (and major label debut) is their only so far not to have received a deluxe or expanded edition. The bizarre thing about that is that Introduce Yourself is one of their best, totally deserving the honour. Faith No More have several 5/5 star albums in their catalogue, and Introduce Yourself is [spoiler] one of them [end spoiler].
Chuck Mosley was the singer, a bizarre frontman with a totally unique style and a penchant for putting stuff in his dreadlocks. One of his lyrics says it best. On the first Faith No More album, he wrote “They say that when I’m supposed to be singing, all I’m really doing is yelling, oh well…” Mosley’s stuffy-nose stylings are an acquired taste, especially if you have only heard Mike Patton. In Faith No More, it worked and set up what Mike Patton was able to do later on. Mosley is melodic in a bizarre, off key way.
“Faster Disco” isn’t that at all. It’s mid-tempo Faith No More, in the style they created and mastered. There is a chunky guitar riff (or two). There is an underscore of keyboards holding down the melodic foundation. There is a solid beat, and a strangely catchy multi-tracked vocal.
Faith No More are also known for funky Billy Gould bass beats, and that’s “Anne’s Song”. Chuck has a conversational vocal, sorta-rapped, sorta-spoken. It too is strangely memorable, and it was one of two singles.
The title track “Introduce Yourself” is fast and fun, and also lives up to its name! Chuck introduces the band in the lyrics, but the song is so incredibly fast that it’s over in 1:30. Too bad, because it’s awesome. Another style Faith No More are known for is the “dark and ominous” song. “Chinese Arithmetic” is one of those, a weighty track with keyboards providing glimmers of light. One of the strangest tracks is the staggering “Death March”, which is also hilarious. “How much for a transfer, man? 95 cents? Fuck you, I’ll skate to the beach! And look better getting there!”
The most famed track is “We Care a Lot”, the most well known single from this album and also the title track from the prior album. The lyrics were updated and the music re-recorded. This version is the best one, what with that line about “We care a lot / about Transformers, cuz there’s more than meets the eye!”
“R n’ R” is caffeinated Faith No More, blowing down the doors with hard rapping and riffing. Then is “The Crab Song”, which Mike Patton once described as a “sad song”. It has that, and it also has the split personality thing going on. Halfway in, it abruptly changes into a riffy, bass-slappy stomp. At almost six minutes long, it’s one of the earliest examples of Faith No More creating mini-epics by assembling seemingly mismatched components.
Introduce Yourself concludes with a pair of fast, impacting song. “Blood” is carried by a lofty keyboard part, and hammered forth by a relentless Chuck Mosley. Then “Spirit” is the finishing touch, a heavy-as-fuck Jim Martin guitar riff. In the back, drummer Mike Bordin is physically assaulting his kit. Mosley puts his throat to full intensity as the band rips all the way to the end.
Introduce Yourself is brilliant, and it’s easy to overlook it because Mike Patton has since become a dominant presence. Introduce Yourself is every bit as challenging, intense, unorthodox, melodic and heavy as any of their later albums. Do not dismiss it; instead make it a priority.