It’s been 17 years since Faith No More released any music. They’ve announced a new album and tour for 2015, and the anticipation is high among fans. The new single, “Motherf***er,” is certain to be increasing that anticipation to barely-containable levels.
Faith No More was always unpredictable and this song is no exception. It opens with a synth and piano that brings to mind some of Mike Patton’s work in the last 17 years, particularly his soundtracks for A Perfect Place and A Place Beyond the Pines. Once the beat starts, Patton talk sings and it’s like “Epic” on a whole new level. It’s amazing that as great as Faith No More always were, they were easily Patton’s least interesting project. And that’s no knock on Faith No More. If there’s a more versatile and prolific musician, I’d like to hear them. The vast amount of experimentation and varied genre exploration he has done, is one reason this album is bound to be so great. If this track is any indication of what’s to come, it would seem Faith is going to be incorporating elements of some of his many projects.
Overall, the song is about rhythm and ascension. It’s a chanted, rising swell of drums, with a spoken rhyme that leads to a rather glorious, almost operatic, chorus filled with Patton’s distinctive melodious-psycho vocals, lifting the whole thing up, before it starts to boil with anger. But it never quite goes over the top. If anything, the song feels restrained, like it’s just the beginning of something much, much larger and more overwhelmingly powerful. We’re just about to “get the motherf***er on the phone” who is responsible for some huge screw up and let him have it, so we’re righteously raging, but saving it for when they answer the call. Maybe in the next song. It’s a great choice for a first single to an album that is long anticipated and apparently months away from being released.
If you are not familiar with Faith No More, do yourself a favor and look them up. It doesn’t really matter where you start, since each album is different from the one before it. Either way, you should also dig into all of Mike Patton’s other projects from his solo work to his other bands, such as Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk and Fantomas. Chances are you’ll find something you can get into, if you aren’t completely blown away by the range.