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March 28, 1995 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-28

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10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 28, 1995

New record keeps the Faith alive

By Ted Watts
Daily Weekend Editor
Faith No More's fourth album,
"Angel Dust," was released less than
three years ago and the band finished
a successful tour of this country about
two years ago. America has seen little
of them since.
Much has changed in the interim.
Guitarist Jim Martin left the band,
being replaced for the recording of
the new album "King for a Day, Fool
for a Lifetime" by Mr. Bungle guitar-
ist Trey "Scummy" Spruance.
Spruance was too intimidated by the
group's touring schedule, however,
and left the band, being replaced by
bean Menta. For the near future,
: keyboardist Roddy Bottum plans to
;record an album with his new Abba-
-esque band Star 69 and singer Mike
Patton is planning another Mr. Bungle
album.
1 But for now there's "King For a
Day, Fool for a Lifetime." Faith No
More's previous albums have all cap-
tured their evolutions. 1985's "We
Care A Lot" showcased their simple
beginnings and 1987's "Introduce
Yourself' was a progression along
the same lines. "The Real Thing" saw
the light of day in '89 and was the first

album recorded with Patton. It was a
softer, more commercial album than
the previous two. It also spawned the
hit "Epic" and eventually made the
band into a platinum record holder.
"Angel Dust" was released in 1992
and was the band's most experimen-

Rtmt
Faith No More
King for a Day,
Fool for a Lifetime
Slash/Reprise

Fortunately, the song retains more of
the screaming and less of the Bon Jovi
vocals, although the guitar remains in
the same vein and doesn't dispel that
harrowing feeling of cheese.
"Evidence" does dispel the feel-
ing. Opening all funky, it's almost a
Barry White song. The bass is strong
and very '70s (actually going wacka
wacka), the keyboards are doing a
string thing in addition to a piano
thing, the drums are quiet and jazzy
and the vocals are crooning. No Poi-
son album here.
The album moves along at a prop-
erly varied pace. "Evidence" is fol-
lowed by "The Gentle Art Of Making
Enemies," a song dichotomous in its
soft and hard musical sections and with
fine lines like "I deserve a reward/ Cuz
I'm the best fuck that you ever had /
Man if I tighten up my horn / You may
never see the light again." This in turn
is followed by "Star A.D.," a song that
sounds designed for a roller rink.
The eclectic character of songs is
retained throughout the rest of the
album. The first single, "Digging the
Grave," is very reminiscint of "The
Real Thing" in its sound. "Take This
Bottle" sounds like a Guns N' Roses
ballad parody. And "Just A Man" has

tal album, filled with vastly different
songs of extremely high quality.
"Get Out," the first song on "King,"
opens with amonotonously simple drum
beat and an almost Metallica-style gui-
tarriffthatstandoutlikeaparasitic twin
jutting from someone's chest. Patton's
vocals go sweetly high on the opening
lyrics "What if there's no more fun to
have / And all I've got is what I've had
/ What if I have forgotten how/ Cut my
license and get out now," followed im-
mediately by him screaming "Get out
right now!" The first impression is that
the album is going to be nastily metal.

a gospel/reggae cast to it, which is
just fine for the closing song of such
a zimzamzabulous record.
The worst thing about the album is
that too many of the songs begin like
each other. About a third of the songs
begin with similarly structured (and

kind of hack) guitar parts. While not
the same, they are much more similar
than Faith No More has prepared their
fans to listen for. It also seems to have
lost some of the many levels of sound
that made "Angel Dust" such a lushly
beautiful and intriguing album.

Nevertheless, Faith No More has
made an interesting album with "King
For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime."
They eat from a large buffet of styles4
and vomit them back out in a tasty
melange. Dig in!

Gorecki proves his musical worth
Composer's concert shows why he became popular

I'

By Brian Wise
Daily Arts Writer
When Henryk Gorecki's Third
Symphony topped classical sales
charts and soared to number six on the
British pop charts, critics were left
simultaneously shaking their heads in
-astonishment and praising it nonethe-
less. The "Symphony of Sorrowful
Songs," as it is subtitled, is a solemn,
meditative piece, consisting of an
hour's worth of slow movements with
RLVMW
Contemporary
Directions
Ensemble
Rackham Auditorium
March 24, 1995
soprano solo - hardly the stuff pop
idols are made of.
This poses some interesting ques-
tions. Is this the beginning of a mass-
audience breakthrough for contem-
porary music? Or is the classical tra-
dition becoming debauched by trendy
record labels (in this case Elektra
Nonesuch) and the same marketing
ploys that have packaged Gregorian
chant as a form of new age mind
therapy.
Mr. Gorecki (pronounced go-
RET-skee), in fact, has never sought
out mainstream approval. He was a
chief leader of the Polish avant garde
BUCKSHOT
Continued from page 9
ing it on the sax. When called upon,
rapper Unknown Soldier showcased
an ability to make his words clever or
thought-provoking, especially on
"Breakfast at Denny's," an ode to the
restaurant that refused service to a
group of African-American secret

movement that emerged during the
post-Stalin cultural thaw of the 1950s.
By the 1970s, he began to express his
deep religious beliefs and a passion-
ate commitment to the folk culture of
Poland, in a simple yet monumental
style. Only in recent years has his
music became known to a larger audi-
ence, along with an entire school of
Eastern European composers collec-
tively known as "mystical
minimalists."
A large and enthusiastic audience
was on hand Friday night at Rackham
Auditorium when the University's
Contemporary Directions ensemble,
directed by H. Robert Reynolds pre-
sented a sampling of the composer's
music. This was part of the
University's ongoing program cel-
ebrating Polish music, and the con-
cert was attended by none other than
Gorecki himself.
I am always a bit skeptical of neat
and convenient labels, yet "mystical
minimalism" seemed a fitting descrip-
tion for the String Quartet No.2 which
opened the program. While clearly it
could never be mistaken as the work
of American minimalists such as
Philip Glass or Steve Reich, the fluc-
tuating, stark motives built on minute
intervals were constructed in repeti-
tive schemes akin to minimalism.
Perhaps what it lacked was a sense
of profound culmination that made
the Third Symphony the epic that it is.
While expertly-played in this perfor-
mance, the unhurried String Quartet

really commands a listener with an
unfailing concentration or an abnor-
mally low metabolism.
The "Quarttetino" for two flutes,
oboe and violin, is a youthful work of
Gorecki's that bares allegiance to the
neoclassical style of Stravinsky. With
a breezy, lilting musical language and
amotoric rhythmic drive in the presto,
it served to dispel the common belief
that he is only capable of expressing
spiritual quietude.
In fact, Gorecki is a composer of
often wild extremes, as demonstrated
by the broad palate of "Little Re-
quiem for a Polka." For a chamber
ensemble of 13 instruments and pi-
ano, it was composed in 1993 for the
Schoenberg Ensemble. The work was
alternately liturgical, austere and folk-
influenced, with polka polyrhythms
placed alongside long stretches of
static harmonies and ethereal bell
chimes. The CDE mastered the vari-
ous nuances and gave a disciplined
account of this difficult piece. Gorecki
seemed pleased.
In a hurried world battered sense-
less by a continual flow of informa-
tion, via 500 channels and interac-
tive cyberspace (supply your own
buzz words), the formal elegance
and mystic atmospheres of
Gorecki's music strike a soothing
chord in many a listener. With that
in mind, it shouldn't be overlooked
that there is much more to this com-
poser than new age bromides and
feel good ambiance.

Slash has become one with pinball on his new solo album.

RECORDS
Continued from page 9
the queen, mistress, goddess of gos-
pel, the late, great Mahalia Jackson.
The song, "I Found the Answer," one
of Jackson's greatest, is above de-
scription using words of any human
dialect.
"To A Higher Place" is a testa-
ment of Hawkins' superior singing
talents, the beauty of Black gospel
and the power of God.
- Eugene Bowen
Sleeper
Smart
Arista
Hot on the heels of Elastica's phe-
nomenal debut comes Sleeper, the
latest British female-fronted band.
Like Elastica, Sleeper combines New
Wave sounds with a tough feminine
perspective. However, Sleeper dif-
fers in two important areas: Sleeper
frontwoman Louise Gener is a right-
winger, and Sleeper, as a band, doesn't
have the songs to compete with
Elastica. The opening track of the
band's debut, "Smart," is
"Inbetweener." A tough, raunchy
rocker, it's catchy and clever enough
to remain intriguing on repeated

service agents. Soldier was constantly
on the same plane lyrically as the
musicians were musically; he ener-
gized the band each time he took the
mic.
Branford Marsalis should be
commended for bringing together a
group filled with talent from top to
bottom, then making their finished
product so entertaining. It was clear

that everyone at Industry was hav-
ing fun, starting with the musicians.
One would hope that this (in the
words of the Unknown Soldier)
"Little bit 'a hip hop, little bit 'a
jazz" will find its own niche in the
days to come. It's difficult to think
of a kind of music around today that
is so fresh and exciting. Hats off to
Buckshot LeFonque.

listenings. From there on, however,
it's mostly downhill. While "Swal-
low" and "Delicious" are still pretty
cool, the rest of the album is simply
uninteresting. Listen to the first few
tracks, then use the rest of the album
like a sleeping pill. That's "Smart."
- Heather Phares
slash's Snakepit
It's Five O'Clock Somewhere
Geffen
By now, there have been more
Guns N' Roses side-projects than al-
bums of original Guns material. With
Axl Rose throwing guitarist Gilby
Clarke out of the band and adding one
of his long-time friends to the group
as he's trying to pursue a more Nine
Inch Nails direction, it's no wonder
that Slash decided to form a band of
his own to pass the time. As Slash
himself has admitted, it's better than
dancing with Mr. Brownstone -- but
not by much, if "It's Five O'Clock
Somewhere" is any indication.
Like most side-projects, the songs
on "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere"
sound like afterthoughts. The record
sounds like a loose, informal jam ses-
sion between friends at a local bar.
Since Slash is a bonafide rock star, he
got to jam in a studio and release it for
all of us to enjoy instead of confining
it to a handful of people at the tavern.
So, Slash and his friends got to-
gether at the studio, drank a few beers,
played a couple of riffs, downed some
Jack Daniel's, let the tape roll and
jammed. And jam they did, turning in
a long, nearly 70-minute record. For-
tunately, Slash's friends - Alice in
Chains bassist Mike Inez and Gilby
Clarke, Matt Sorum and Dizzy Reed
of Guns N' Roses - are damn good

musicians, which means most of the
record works at a musical level. In
particular, Slash is in prime form -
his solos are alternately fluid and
tense, biting and soaring; the album
reaffirms the fact that he is one of the
best lead guitarists of the past decade.
No matterhow well Slash plays, it
doesn't erase the fact that the songs
on "Five O'Clock" are nonexistent.
The riffs don't sink in, the lyrics are
inane and the melodies are transpar-
ent. Even worse, Eric Dover's
appallingly histrionic vocals domi-
nate the mix, which makes the lack of
passable songs all the more apparent.
That lack of song is what ulti-
mately makes "It's Five O'Clock
Somewhere" just another example of
rock 'n' roll indulgence. At least it
keeps Slash off the streets ...
- Tom Erlewine
Po' Boy Swing
Lite And Sweet
Royalty
"Hey, is this the new Faith No
More album?"
"No, it's a band called Po' Boy
Swing. Can't you read?"
"Po' Boy Swing? Sounds like
some crappy '80s pop metal band
trying to be rootsy."
"Look, Idon't name the bands ..."
"OK, but you have to admit they
sound exactly like Faith No More.
The soulful yet slightly sarcastic vo-
cals, the pseudo-funk-meets-prog-
metal rhythm section-"
"Hey, what is this, Rock Criticism
101? It has a lot of energy."
"What the hell does thatmean? Even
doing a faithful cover of 'When I Need
Love' is a rip. of FNM's superior ver-
sion of the Commodores' 'Easy."'
"Then again, the rap in 'Swing
Your Thing' reminds of a thrashier
Beastie Boys."
"Yeah, just what the world needs,
another rock group with band rhym-
ing and too much love of the '70s."
"Check out the 'Twin Peaks'-y
feel of 'Peace of Mind' or the loungy
feel of the first and last tracks. I think
this is a band that owesjust as much to
vintage Cheap Trick and good pop
rock as Faith No More."
"Look, noonecares whatyou think,
rock critic boy. Go out and get a life and
make some friends before it's too late.
Live a little and go get the new Faith No
More if you want to hear a band that
sounds likeFaithNo More. While we're
at it, why are you talking to yourself?
Do you honestly think anyone believes
this is a real conversation between two
consenting adults? Would anyone waste
their time talking about the new record
by Pork Rind Binge -"
"That's Po' Boy Swing -"
"Whatever. I'm out of here."
"Look, who said you have to origi-
nal to be good? Hello?Anyone there?"
- KirkMiller

I ~; "- .--

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