Monthly Archives: March 2019

365 Days of Mike Patton: “The Perfect Crime,” Faith No More (1991)

Since I started thinking about this 365 Days of Mike Patton journey, I’ve had plenty of serendipitous encounters with Patton projects in the real world. There was a Mr. Bungle song played during a commercial bumper at the Grammy’s. Patton, for seemingly no rhyme or reason, was supposed to sing the national anthem at an NFL playoff game in L.A. (at the last minute, he had to cancel because he was sick).

And on Sunday night, it was probably the most random moment of all. I went with a buddy to an independent wrestling show in Austin—I haven’t seen live pro wrestling in more than 15 years—and as one of the participants was strutting his way to the ring, Faith No More’s “The Perfect Crime” was bleeding from the speakers.

The tune was never released on a Faith No More studio album, but it got some attention for its inclusion on the soundtrack for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. Patton’s singing makes it sound like an outtake from The Real Thing because he’s a little nasally. But in reality, he was in the middle of making his transition to the more well-rounded singer he’d become on the Angel Dust album.

I wasn’t a Faith No More fan at the time, so I don’t remember the song coming out or why it was a big deal to FNM fans, but Metal Sucks has an interesting take on it …

[It] popped up on the Bill & Ted’s II soundtrack among a great Megadeth song, a ghastly Kiss song, and Steve Vai’s “The Reaper Rap.” Having arrived amid dim company and at a moment of FNM scarcity, “Crime” may’ve seemed awesomer than its actual awesomeness; also, the absence of another FNM song after it might’ve accounted for my tendency to rewind and repeat “Crime” a bunch. But the context, the timing, and the lack of competition were beside the point cuz the reason I never listen to it only once is that the shit is awesome beyond all reasonable measure.

Kerrang called the song a “punk, funk fusion of Simple Minds and the Talking Heads.”

Meanwhile, FNM bassist Billy Gould’s younger brother took home video of the mixing of “The Perfect Crime” (though Patton wasn’t in the studio that day). It’s a video I’d never seen. And I probably would never have known about it if I hadn’t gone to an independent wrestling show on a Sunday night.

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

365 Days of Mike Patton: “No Flag,” Dub Trio (2008)

A few years after Mike Patton and Dub Trio, a dub/electronic/hard rock outfit from Brooklyn, collaborated on a song on Patton’s Peeping Tom record (we’ll get there), the four musicians reunited for a track called “No Flag.”

I’d never actually heard it before until this very moment, and after a couple of listens, it turns out I dig it. Patton’s voice is gravely and sparse at the beginning of the song—it reminds me of some of the work off Tomahawk’s Anonymous album—and there are some brief double tracks where his voice gets a little higher and subtly fills in some of the space. It makes for a nice contrast.

Then, abruptly the song changes into something more sinister and metal, like something you might hear from Patton in his Dead Cross band (we’ll get there, we’ll get there).

Dub Trio recorded this album, Another Sound Is Dying, on Patton’s Ipecac Records label (we’ll probably get there at some point). But Pitchfork, as is the publication’s wont with most of the music it reviews, wasn’t all that impressed with the record.

Wrote the website, “Dub Trio are a formidable dub unit. But as a rock band, they’re only passable. This is not for lack of chops; in fact, they’re almost too good. They’re referencing the Big Dumb Rock of 90s Amphetamine Reptile and Touch and Go. But while they have the notes, they lack the attitude. Prime AmRep seethed in cauldrons of noise and feedback; this record has a clean, upfront recording. Mr. Bungle also genre-hopped, but Patton’s vocals were a glue that this instrumental outfit lacks. (Patton does make a cameo in the nu-metal-esque “No Flag”.) Dub Trio are on to something, but they’ve yet to fully grasp it.”

Ooof, the nu-metal line is a little brutal, and it’s something with which I disagree. But then again, I liked this song, and I don’t want to be on record liking anything that’s nu-metal-esque. The late 1990s and early 2000s were too scarring.

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Cape Fear,” Fantomas (2001)

Whenever I think of the remake of the movie Cape Fear, I always picture Robert De Niro and his southern drawl engaging in a violent fight with Nick Nolte’s character as rain and flooding waters soak their hair in the film’s climatic scene. Yes, the 1991 movie was a remake of Cape Fear from 1962. But Fantomas’ cover of the “Cape Fear” theme for The Director’s Cut album sounds exactly like the music that should accompany such a scene for the movie made nearly 30 years later.

If a De Niro fight scene ever needed a song, it’s certainly this Fantomas cover. Hard and aggressive with bits of soft, angelic type singing that could be accompanying the sounds of a soul leaving a body for good. Then, more aggression and screaming before the absolute violent ending.

The original theme song from Cape Fear (the 1962 version) by Bernard Hermann is creepy and much more orchestral. It’s less aggressive and much slower (and longer) than Fantomas’ version (and it sounds exactly like what you want to hear when you’re watching a thriller film from the 1960s).

But I’ve never seen the original film. That’s probably why, when I hear this song, I picture De Niro fighting to the death. And that’s why, for me, Patton’s version is completely in tune with that remake and perhaps not the original.

Previously from Fantoma’s The Director’s Cut:

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.