Tag Archives: fantomas

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:

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

The only Fantomas record I’ve listened to more than once or twice is the delightful The Director’s Cut. While most of the Fantomas catalog is too inaccessible for even me to enjoy, the band’s second album featured covers of movie soundtrack songs in the way only Mike Patton could.

“Charade” is the final track on the album, and it comes from the 1963 film that starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

Compare Henry Mancini’s version of the 1963 version …

… To the Fantomas cover nearly 40 years later.

The general framework of the songs are pretty similar except for, you know, the screeching guitars, the general creepiness, the overarching aggressiveness and Patton’s low-to-high-to-screaming vocals. The earlier version was nominated for an Oscar but lost out to Papa’s Delicate Condition. Patton’s version was nominated for nothing.

But it still scored good reviews.

From Pitchfork: “Beginning with a demented samba-beatbox from Patton, ‘Charade’ vacillates between an incredibly smooth, jazzy melody and a spitfire speed-yodel stomp. As the dubbed-in crowd applauds, the melody gently returns with more hyphen-encouraging mayhem. And suddenly, it’s very clear how this will all end: ‘YAD DA DA DADA DA DA DADA YAD DA DADA DA DA DA DADA!’”

NME, meanwhile, called the song “some of the finest moments” on the album. It’s one of the few times a Fantomas track reminded anybody of Faith No More. That makes it a small victory in my eyes.

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

365 Days of Mike Patton: “Me and the Flamer,” The Fantomas Melvins Big Band (2002)

 In 1995, Faith No More and Mike Patton released my favorite FNM album, King For a Day, Fool For a Lifetime (featuring the banger “Ricochet”). In 1996 and 1997, Patton released two solo albums.

In 1998, apparently fearing he wasn’t quite busy enough, Patton formed a heavy metal supergroup called Fantomas that brought him, Melvins guitarist Buzz Osborne, Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn, and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo together. At the time, FNM was basically dead. But Fantomas and its avant-garde metal sound was very much alive.

With the exception of its second album, The Directors’ Cut, Fantomas isn’t always an easy listen. But its live album that was recorded on New Years Eve 2000 and was released in 2002, Millennium Monsterwork 2000, has some interesting moments. It’s iffy if “Me and the Flamer” is one of those moments, particularly since much of the song features Lombardo simply tapping his cymbals before Patton screams something indecipherable.

But the screaming and mouth noises he makes is certainly a Patton special.

Ultimately, it’s OK to listen to this tune once and then skip over it the next time you hear it. A good portion of the Fantomas material makes me want to do that anyway.

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