REVIEW: Faith No More’s “Sol Invictus”

Faith No More photo FNM2015_cover_zpso9cyumxn.jpg Considering their last album had come out in June 1997, one of the questioned asked was “how does Faith No More sound in 2015?” It depends on what angle you’re listening with. Let’s try to talk it out a bit.

Faith No More became one of the hottest bands of the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s with incredible music throughout their discography. The arrival of Mr. Bungle vocalist Mike Patton into the group strengthened their music as a whole, not bad for a band who only made four albums with Patton as the lead. You can say his arrival was similar to Bruce Dickinson replacing Paul Di’anno in Iron Maiden. or Joey Belladonna replacing Neil Turbin, it was very necessary. Of course, Patton has not stopped since he entered the world of major labels, finding himself involved in projects by Fantomas, Tomahawk, Lovage, Peeping Tom, and whatever he feels like doing at any given time. He has become one of my all time favorite vocalists but all of these tidbits doesn’t answer the question “how does Faith No More sound in 2015?” We begin to talk about it with paragraph #3.

Sol Invictus (Reclamation) is the band’s first indie album since 1985’s We Care A Lot, but we know the group have progressed big time since them. Musically, they are a progression of what they had become by the time they released their last album, Album Of The Year. The guitar riffs remain strong courtesy of Jon Hudson, who was first heard on the Album Of The Year album. He’s a very different guitarist from what Jim Martin was with The Real Thing and Angel Dust but they have become a different and stronger band since then. Everyone else in the band remain as solid as they’ve ever been, the intensity is even more powerful and upon hearing it, you know it’s a trademark FNM album.

As for Patton, you can say some of the tracks sounds a lot like what he did on the last Mr. Bungle album, California, where there are unique influences that would not have existed before. It may be a hint of easy listening, it may be jazz, or it could be country. Nonetheless, it’s there and his voice never lets go of its elegance. The band is gelled beautifully and it makes you want to see them live not only to hear their favorites, but to hear how they pull these songs off live. It’s that kind of an album where you know you’re hearing an incredible hard rock album with one of the best singers in the business.

Sol Invictus is an album that is necessary in the marketplace and for those who still salute the power of a great rock band, this must be heard. The band continue to be on their own path, fans can only join along or wave goodbye to what you just missed out on.

SOME STUFFS: New album from Hey Anna released today

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Run Koko is the new album by the rock quintet known as Hey Anna and if you have any sense of goodness (and of course a bit of good taste in music), you will definitely want to check this out. 13 brand new songs, not one of them “weak sauce”. You may stream it below via Bandcamp and buy it digitally or on CD.

VIDEO: Mega Ran’s “Your Favorite Song”

What is rapper Mega Ran’s favorite song? It may not be his new song called “Your Favorite Song” but the new song may very well become your favorite song. The song will be a part of his forthcoming album called RNDM (“random”) due out in mid-September. If you pre-order it and are one of the first 999 people to do so, you will also get the Mighty No. 9 soundtrack. No harm in that.

AUDIO: Fox Street’s “Justified”

Photo by J Mimna
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Authentic Western Style is a forthcoming album by a group featuring members of The Derek Trucks Band, JJ Grey & Mofro, and The Motet. Their name is Fox Street and the album will be released before the end of July (the 28th to be exact) and they’d like for you to hear a song to get familiar with them. It’s called “Justified” but they’re not ancient.

AUDIO: Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi’s “The Sun Today”

Alela Diane and Ryan Francesconi have collaborated on a project that will be an album called Cold Moon (Believe Recordings/Rusted Blue), due out on October 16th. To get a feel for it, have a listen to “The Sun Today” today, tonight, or whatever it feels most comfortable for you. Diane and Francesconi represent a side of Portland’s music that you might not have known existed but if you’re into some of the things the city has offered in the last few years, get a chance to know these two and get familiar with them.

A day after the album’s release, they’ll have a release party/show in Portland at Revolution Hall before preparing themselves for a European tour the following month. Here are the dates:

October 17… Portland, OR (Revolution Hall)
November 10… Brighton, UK (Komeda)
November 11… London, UK (Bush Hall)
November 12… Canteleu, FR (Espace Francois Mitterand)
November 14… The Hague, NL (Crossing Borders Festival)
November 15… Brussels, BE (Botanique Orangerie)
November 17… Caen, FR (Big Band Cafe)
November 18… Bordeaux, FR (Rock School Barbey)
November 19… San Sebastien, ES (Intxaurrrundo)
November 20… Madrid, ES (El Sol)
November 21… Barcelona, ES (Festival Musique Sensibles)
November 23… Montpellier, FR (Theatre D’Aurillac)
November 24… Paris, FR (Bouffres Du Nord)

FREE MP3 DL: D.Focis’ “Prince Akeem”

After hearing this, I wish this 1:59 song was a bit longer but D.Focis insures that he is not here to advocate many more hate, he is to let you know why he does what he does in a very nice way. The track is called “Prince Akeem”, honoring the Coming To America character in brief. Again, this song deserves yet another verse but we deal what we have and we must be (im)patient for another new song from him.

AUDIO: Depletion’s “Null Data II”

If something left of left of center is what you desire, you may want to check out an adventurous project from Depletion, which is described as “lo-fi tracks using various analog synths, electronics, tape-loops, effects, objects” and a nice slice of “etc.” For those who want it, it’s only cassette but only 30 cassettes are being made, each on a Chrome (CR02) tape. For more information, send an e-mail to holbrook1834 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

FREE MP3 DL: BXTR’s “Departure”

Soulful dance music with hints of dub and abstract beauty, it is what you’ll hear in “Departure”, a new track by BXTR. Some elements of this song could easily be heard in your every day pop music but this is not your every day music, and shouldn’t be, although you could easily turn it into your mantra this summer. Make it what you want but make it groove as you dance to the sensations.

AUDO: Middi featuring Fam Ross’ “4am In Etna”

As this song is being posted, it is 4am here in the Pacific Northwest. But in song, it seems to be “4am In Etna”. Who said this? He goes by the name of Middi, and on his series of songs being released every Monday, he has done a song with Fam Ross and producer ID Labs and here it is. If there is an Etna near you, it is 4am at least two times a day. If more than two, get and stay there for awhile.

FREE MP3 DL: 404WILL featuring Belle’s “Moet & Chandon”

If you are looking for a song that honors two alcoholic drinks, but you’re saying “I don’t drink but I would like to be seduced by a good song”, then check out this song by 404 WILL called “Moet & Chandon”. The Atlanta rapper is koined by Belle, so hear their union and get down with it in an intoxicating manner, with or without the rocks. Grab this song, for it is a free download, while supplies last.