Tag Archives: Heavy metal music

Introduce Yourself

No, The Real Thing was not Faith No More’s first album. This underrated album, the band’s second, was actually the one that started to get the band noticed, primarily because of the underground single “We Care A Lot” (actually a reprise from their underwhelming first album, also called We Care A Lot), an anthemic shout along that showcased their unique mix of hard metallic guitar, a fiercely funky rhythm section, and moody keyboards. Indeed, Faith No More is perhaps the only band that has successfully integrated these disparate elements, along with a singer/rapper, into a successful whole without it seeming at all forced. This album is a surprisingly strong early effort and is definitely worth seeking out for any fan that came aboard later, such as yours truly. Chuck Mosley is the vocalist here, and though he’s no Mike Patton his nasally shouts/raps fit well with the material, though it should be noted that many fans find him to be an acquired taste (to put it mildly). The fact that he was black also brought the band some needed pub; let’s face it, black people in heavy metal being a rarity.

Anyway, “Annie’s Song” and “Chinese Arithmetic” are also really catchy and impressive, while the menacingly grinding “Death March,” the brief but hard-hitting title track, and the surging “Blood” also hit the right pleasure points. In fact, the whole album rocks, and though the band is sometimes a tad too stingy with their hooks and the album is short on truly memorable songs (though most of them sound really good while they’re playing), Introduce Yourself is far more than merely an appetizer for future band breakthroughs.

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SAP

This four song EP came as quite a surprise when it was first released (a fifth unlisted “song” is merely the guys messing around). Simply put, Sap proved that Alice in Chains were more than merely an exceptional heavy metal band. With vocal support from Ann Wilson of Heart, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, and Mark Arm of Mudhoney, this EP turns down the amps from Facelift while still maintaining the band’s trademark intensity.

Jerry Cantrell’s songwriting sparkles, while Staley’s singing with his assorted partners remains riveting. Cantrell also takes his first lead vocal on “Brother,” though Wilson’s haunting backing wails steal the show. “Got Me Wrong” is another catchy winner that was featured in the hilarious cult movie Clerks, and the lighter “Right Turn” takes off when Cornell turns up and various voices (including Mark Arm’s) start to spectacularly fly all over the place (as usual, Cornell steals the show). The evocative “Am I Inside” is also memorable, as Alice in Chains bring acoustic instruments to the fore rather than bludgeon listeners with brute force. Yet the band’s chemistry and sound remain intact, as this was one band that refused to be restricted to straightforward heavy metal clichés. Their growth would be spectacularly realized with their masterful next two efforts.