Faith No More “Album of the Year”

Baby Chaos “Love Your Self Abuse”

Slaughter “Revolution”
(CMC International)

In the 'Too Stupid To Give Up, Please Stop, This Can't Go Unpunished' category we have three more contenders.

Faith No More's obnoxious, overwrought, ego-blasts grew tired almost immediately after they killed that little fishy unlucky enough to be the real star of 1990's “Epic” video. Before that, FNM had a stray good tune with “We Care A Lot” from 1987's “Introduce Yourself,” but original singer Chuck Mosely was vocally challenged (he sucked) and the Mike Patton freak show took over.

“Album of the Year” is a safe outing for the band as it continues its constant fits of heavy, boring riffing and cheesy synthesizers. Vocalist Patton has a unique worldview and quite a set of lungs in him; but it's obvious that his brain only works in Ritalin/Tourettes overdrive — he can't stop spewing juvenile absurdities.

And Baby Chaos' brains simply aren't creative enough to get over the fact that, yes, boys, guitars can be loud and hard, and that quiet/soft dichotomy that Smashing Pumpkins mastered six years ago on “gish” sounds neat-o. Yeah! Rock!

The English band has recreated its equally generic 1994 debut, “Safe Sex, Designer Drugs and the Death of Rock'n'Roll.” Vocalist Chris Gordon thinks he's clever, as you should be able to tell from the album titles. Tracks such as “She's in Pain,” “Rearrange You” and “Confessions of a Teenage Pervert” want very much to be tough, but these frat-punks rock like an afterschool special.

There is some question, of course, as to whether the Slaughter quartet's brains ever really worked properly (the lyric sheet and poorly-enhanced multimedia CD are full of misspellings and typos). MTV forced these guys into the public eye at the end of hairspray rock's reign with insipid hits such as “Fly to the Angels and “Up All Night.” “American Pie” doesn't have anything that even approaches the blandness of those platinum pickles.

The title track is a blatant T. Rex rip-off: If the estate of Marc Bolan is paying attention it can probably grab some of Slaughter's wardrobe money not only because the band steals the riff from “Get It On (Bang a Gong),” but it bastardizes ol' Bolan's whole damn glam vibe. The title track “Revolution” sounds like Twisted Sister. “You're My Everything” sounds like Bon Jovi. “I'm Gone” sounds like Motley Crue. But overall the CD sounds like Slaughter, American Music Awards' Best New Metal Act of 1991. So there you go.

If things are right in the universe, and I know they aren't, the karmic retributions will be impressive and maybe in their next lives, the members of these bands will be graced with the luxury of having a brain amongst them.

After this review was published, a rabid FNM fan sent me a envelope full of pubic hairs with a mean letter. He had no idea what a big Mr. Bungle fan I was. His gesture makes me smile to this day.

By The Billy Keaggy | Originally published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 1997i am