You once might have expected Faith No More to jam with the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but the San Francisco band’s show at the Roxy concluded with Guns N’ Roses’ Duff and Slash joining in for an old Black Sabbath stomp. Is Faith No More, which four years ago set the standard for post-punk cynicism with its rap-metal anthem “We Care a Lot,” now a bandwagon-jumper deserving that cynicism itself?
Not if Monday’s show was any indication. Yes, a trendy Metallica element is now a major part of the band’s sound, but it’s hardly dominant.
More often than not, the metal references served to support and punctuate some much more original approaches. The rap-metal hybrid, though not as unique as several years ago, is more powerful and compelling than before. Two things give the band a particularly distinct sound: The Mellotron-like keyboard washes of Roddy Bottum and the forceful delivery of new singer Mike Patton, an athletic performer whose voice alternates between a pure, controlled tone and a whiny, demonic rasp.