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Originally released in 1987 (then again in November 1996 and October 2000) 'Introduce Yourself' was technically Faith No More's second album, but due to the limited release and poor reviews of the debut, many consider it their first.
Despite its deceivingly simple cover of an ink splatter, the album showed significant improvements in production and mixing and included an updated and more relevant version of 'We Care A Lot'.
Its original sound and innovative vocals woud lead Faith No More to receive the honorific title of the godfathers of Nu Metal.
Faith No More's reputation has always been dogged by rumours of the band's in house arguments and frustrations and even at this early stage the arguments were running thick and fast. The line up for this album remained consistant with the debut with Bottum on keyboards, Gould on bass, Bordin on drumsand congas, Martin on guitar and Mosely doing the vocals, though the band would see numerous changes, not least replacing Mosely with exuberant and talented singer Mike Patton. It was produced by Steve Berlin.
FASTER DISCO (Lyrics - Mosley, Music - Gould, Bottum, Martin)
'Styling, you know you're styling
So turn to the mirror and blow yourself a kiss'
A disappointing start with fairly bland and heavy guitar chords. The introduction opens the track promisingly, though it sounds very of its time. The keyboard and vocals, that were heavily altered in post-production give it a slightly out of this world edge while a satifying guitar riff carries the track between the verses and chorus. There are added layers to vocals, but this does little to stop them becoming bland and the percussion is little more than punctuation for the guitar riff.
ANNE'S SONG (Lyrics and Music - Gould, Bottum)
'I can do everything, she said, she said with a smile
And I can go anywhere tonight, because I'm with Anne.'
A simple love song without the slush, that becomes all the more potent for being a little rough around the edges. It is a clumsy tribute with triumphant vocals backed by guitars and keyboards that are equally cheery and full of simple joy. Unusual for early 'Faith No More', this track works as a vocally driven track with basic instrumentation. There is a gentle piano melody in the background for the quieter verses, before the louder and joyous chorus. Layers are used to make the vocals stronger, one of these layers in particular is very low. You can't really hear it unless you are listening out, but the effect is to give the lead vocals more depth. The bridge features an intricate guitar solo while the outro becomes more confused, sounding like a party, and fades to close.
INTRODUCE YOURSELF (Lyrics - Bottum, Mosley, Music - Gould, Bottum, Bordin, Martin)
'Hey Mr Biggs, hey Mr Bestall, hey Mr Warner, what's up?
Hey Mr Enigma, hey Mr Bigtime, hey Mr Epic, what's going on?'
A brief, but fun track with no introduction, instead moving straight into joyous rock instrumentation. The percussion is largely clapping and basic open snares with the bass following the pace. For me it is the simplicity of this track that makes it one of the best on the album. For once the vocals are not dependant on a melody that they cannot carry and so you are left with an uncomplicated melody that is just purely enjoyable and great to sing-along to.
CHINESE ARITHMETIC (Lyrics - Mosley, Music - Martin, Bordin)
'Your friend was young, hung and plastered
He never knew his own disaster'
This track builds tension in layers. It opens on a high pitched single keyboard note that is joined by snare percussion before the keyboard begins a melody while a guitar slowly fades in bringing with it its own melody. Throughout the entire track the light keyboard melody plays against the heavy guitars creating a thrilling mix. The vocals are, unfortunately an anticlimax to the long introduction with some very lack lustre verses, though the chorus is strong and packs a punch (it's much better when sung by Patton). The heavy and oppressive guitar and keyboard based bridge is haunting with long drawn out notes. It has great rapping vocals are, but too soon it moves to that all too familiar drone. It's here that we first see the connection to Nu Metal and it remains a staple of the bands live set.
DEATH MARCH (Lyrics - Mosley, Music - Martin, Gould, Bottum)
'But now you're on the other side and there's no way ...
To feel your breath of life upon my face.'
This track is introduced by bizarre spoken vocals and vague, empty percussion leading into the main body of the track with a basic guitar riff made up of four notes that remains steady (in tune, I guess, with the Death March theme). It is then picked up by another layer of guitar and made more intricate. The bass dictates changes in key which is picked up by the long, drawn out vocals for the verses. The brief outro builds in intensity as it rises in pace and volume to a sudden finish.
WE CARE A LOT (Lyrics - Bottum, Mosley, Music - Gould, Bottum)
'We care a lot about the welfare of all the boys and girls
We care a lot about you people cause we're out to save the world'
This track is arguably their most famous track, other than the 'Easy' cover featured on 'Angel Dust'. A sarcastic satire on the 80s fashion for rock stars to get involved with political concerns; it remained a staple track for the band for years to come and influenced the title of their 'Best of ...' album, 'Who Cares a Lot?' Originally released in 1985 it contained references to LAPD, Live Aid and the Garbage Pail Kids, but was changed when re-released in 1987 to reflect the current trends. Other than the lyrics, it doesn't differ much from the original. It opens on chorused vocals and spends much of the track swinging between solo vocals and the chorus in a question and answer type set up. It features unusual rhythms lead by distinct rock percussion, catchy vocals and a distinctive heavy bass riff. It depends on feint keyboard chords and slow and basic bass drum percussion to hold the track together.
R N' R (Lyrics - Gould, Mosley, Music - Gould, Martin)
'We've got the same ideas, we got the same old fears;
Different colours sometimes, but hey, who cares?'
This track has a brief introduction with a heavy bass before it is joined by the guitars and chorused vocals. The guitars make heavy use of a whammy resulting in very 80s sound. The vocals are angry and unmelodic (gaining their strength from layers), but this is made up with a strong rhythm that never wavers although the track is lead by the heavy and strong rhythm guitar, gradually building through the chorus to take control during the verses. The keyboard provides a vague bassy melody with chord changes dictating the pitch.
THE CRAB SONG (Lyrics - Mosley, Music - Gould, Bordin)
'You stole his girl, you wrecked his world
Now it's your head he's gonna twirl'
The theme of this track forms a personal narrative about being left by a girl and the mixture of angry and sad emotions. A gentle whimsical start to this track leads into the keyboard quietly leading the main chord melody with the guitar following with a gentle riff. The vocals are vague and largely spoken word falling into the whimsical theme before coming angry. They are formed by two layers, one much quieter than the other. It really doesn't quite work, but it is still enjoyable. After the spoken word there is more melody, quietly at first, but increasing volume slowly. This first verse is about loss and regret and this comes over in the vocals and their gentle simplicity. As the vocals become stronger, this signals a change in the instrumentation. Unfortunately it is not until the third verse (the angry bit) that the music really kicks in with a recognisable Faith No More riff and half-rap, half-melodic vocals providing the rhythm while the percussion just follows. Here, the music is much more exciting, but the vocals are a little bizarre with long rises and falls in pitch. The guitars come in giving some depth, picking up the vocal melody and becoming heavier as the vocals become more emotional.
BLOOD (Lyrics and Music - Mosley)
'It doesn't really matter, the things you try to say
It doesn't really matter; you say 'em every day'
'Blood' opens on a spooky keyboard melody before bowing down to more threatening guitar chords. The vocals are the last to come in. They follow the keyboard pitch and slowly become more forceful with the guitar following. It is quite a dull track with no real changes, the only interest coming from the forceful guitar. There is not much melody with simple vocals and a basic keyboard keeping the track together. It starts well, but it doesn't go anywhere, building tension, but lacking a release. The chorus uses short sharp lines with the guitar reeling off short repetitive bars. During the outro everything falls out for a bit leaving only the percussion before everything comes back one by one, and increasing pace as they go, for a fast and chaotic finish.
SPIRIT (Lyrics and Music - Gould)
'She looked at me and did the Bosa Nova
I smiled at her and then just walked away'
A rather deceiving start with a solitary dull voice, before everything else bursts into this track. It features a catchy and heavy guitar riff which gives pace and excitement while the vocals, lacking in strength, struggle to keep up. The percussion is sporadic in places with the rhythm supplied by the guitar and loosely the vocals. Again there is built up tension, but no release.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Faster Disco
2 Anne's Song
3 Introduce Yourself
4 Chinese Arithmetic
5 Death March
6 We Care A Lot
7 R 'n' R
8 Crab Song