GREETINGS, schlock pickers. Ready for some deranged voicework this All Hallows’ Eve? Good.

We’ve said it before but if Melvins are Halloween’s house band then super-colluder Mike Patton is surely one of its top MCs. From loverboy whispers and honeyed sweeteners to lullaby daymares, carnival histrionics and pure fucking gibberish, he does it all – and then some. Never more than a beat away from innocence or insanity, it’s this wanton skittery that makes him the rock-vocal equivalent of cinema’s most amoral psychos: the ones who do bad shit just because.

So, we’re digging the grave (yes) of his more rock-heavy oeuvre. If you’re short of time, hit When Good Dogs Do Bad Things first and fill the gaps later. 11 tracks, audio only, no videos except for our short sharp opening shot of… Will Smith?

Too right. Patton is the voice of his I Am Legend post-human nemesis.

Could have chosen Zombie Eaters for the title alone, but no. For those of us snagged into FNM’s world by We Care A Lot, The Real Thing was our first exposure to the new guy and it takes just four tracks for him to go voco-loco on our No Faith ears. The start of a new era.

Boneyard beats in a street-smart bed. Non-maniacal menace. All in day’s work for a Melvins/Patton/Ipecac project.

It’d be easy to pick the Bauhaus cover from the Dead Cross debut but Bela Lugosi’s Dead is all over Halloween anyway, so let’s gather for a more visceral midnight mass instead.

A flawless, monstrous body of classic horror themes skewered and reassembled with grotesque results, The Director’s Cut is one of those albums that’s end-to-end fright-night perfect. It’s why their depraved Omen made our first playlist five years ago because it’s bound for the asylum on a brakeless hell-cart. Anything from this record could make the cut and this year, it’s Der Golem. Slow and Slayer heav-eee with Patton escalating the madness.

Pace breaker, mood changer, heavy atmos spirited up from the rituals and songs of the Native Americans, Tomahawk style.

Light relief with this voyeuristic hip-pop project, but it still fits. Check the seductive call-and-response voicework, catchy as balls.

As if throwing your Salem’s Lot in with Slayer and Melvins wasn’t OTT enough, Patton threw his vocal pyros at this four-track EP back in 2002. Precision mathprogmentalism at its most possessed, Good Dogs is a frenzied attack whose first two minutes leave you savaged. After that, the lull a-bye-bye and slasher false end finale. Mike Patton’s finest six minutes? Maybe. Just load the EP and lose your senses in this one-off detonation of demented genius.

Tomahawk goes sneakabout and throws in some theramin? Perfect. Duane Denison’s chords muster the tension, Patton blows and soars.

Bacteria Cult is a better-named Kaada Patton record, but Romances gives us Invocation, a genteel creep that’s 60s sound-effect spectral and almost the ghost side of Fantomas without the bloody metallic body parts.

A twisted tale of christknowswhat, under-the-knife molestation? Jagged riffage and a symphonic pile-up that’s borderline cacophonous, Malpractice is another of Patton’s most out-there Faith No More moments. APPLAUSE??? Done like a slain beast.

It’s not their most avant or celebrated album I guess Disco Volante is but California packs some of Mr Bungle’s most potent moments and the score-ish Holy Filament is a mellow supernatural sliver of an ending to this year’s playlist. The first half sweats tension, the second half sweeps a falsetto from the afterlife.

Happy listening? We didn’t even mention perhaps THE most fitting Patton track of all, and that’s because it’s an album: Delirium Cordia by Fantomas (who else?). A score of fragments and wide-open spaces means that between the bursts of Patton garble, Lombardo assault, ghostly ambience and white noise, your mind has much room to roam about in – and if you’ve flicked the album’s artwork, those pristine surgery scenes (dislodged eyeball, intestinal wash) make you feel a wee bit queasy. And there’s no escape, because it’s a 75-minute track. You can’t skip anything. Trapped, imprisoned and captured till you hit the 20-minute vinyl run-out groove at the end. Music for voluntary confinement … keep the lights off if you dare.

For a less sombre listen with some mildly retro metal videos, check Hairy Halloween I and II from the last couple of years, or dabble in the gothic splendour of the late Saint Pete of Steele and Type O’s Sabbath slowdown. PUMPKINS OUT, over.

RSD and a royal RIP

REWIND APRIL: store bores, faith no mores and Prince

Record Store Day came and went, as it does at this time of year. Did you go?

Me too. Did you buy?

Me too. Did you buy any specials?

Nope. Had a half-hearted peep over the shoulders of the eager while quickly tuning out (you’ll see why) of a conversational pissing contest next to the RSD vinyl display (where else?) about the bassist in (wait for it) Hot Chip (told you). Do they have a bassist? Maybe it was someone else in Hot Chip. Or a different band that also has a bassist. Either way, big points were being scored in this rally of Geek Pingpong in Pseud’s Corner, but over in the Business As Motherfucking Usual section – used metal, since you ask – there were a brace of bargainous pickings from the scrap yard: Soilent Green and End of Level Boss. Top stuff, weighty. Nothing to do with the day itself but still, Truck Store had a buzz and a body count and that’s what matters.

Where do you stand on Mike Patton? Depends how annoying you think he is, I guess – windpipe? Testicular area? – but in last month’s Rewind we pointed to the Many Many Bands of Mike Patton on ye ole digital wireless. Drawling John Doran of Quietus fame was Maconie’s guide through some of Patton’s adventures and Mr Bungle, Fantomas, Dillinger Escape Plan and Faith No More themselves got their magnificent selves duly played, but the bestestweirdestexcitingest track of the show – and this is coz I’ve never heard it – was from Patton’s 1997 Pranzo Oltranzista album. With John Zorn and Marc Ribot on there, you know it’s gonna be avant, and with Patton free of band constraints, you know it’s gonna be based on Futurist Cookbook by Filippo Marinnetti. Don’t you? Er, no. Me neither.

Couldn’t help but pick up on a sniffy attitude towards Faith No More from Doran though, and it’s a sniffy that Maconie seems to share. ‘Bro-style rapping’? Records that were ‘overproduced for the day and sound terrible now’??? Surely that puts way too much weight on That Track and views the whole Patton era through an Epic filter, which is precisely how FNM fans don’t see it… well, not me anyway. Epic was always the anomaly. Get some Caffeine.

But at least Patton and co are still with us, which is more than we can now say about the sudden lonely passing of pop’s last great muso megastar, Prince. I’m not a fan, but I wish I was – and by that, I mean I never got round to cherry-picking the vast Prince vaults for the guitarfunkenrock end of his infinite jams, so I guess the discovery starts now. 3121 – the sole Prince album in the collection so far – has been a worthy replay of late; beyond the too-lightweight tracks you get multi-layered gems like 3121‘s slinky throb, Black Sweat‘s falsetto funk-industrial, and a heavy dancefloor strut n’ tease by way of Love.

While this space is not going to be an ongoing tribute to musicians who pass, we have to acknowledge that 2016 has been a shocker for rock departures. Lemmy left us last year, but only just last year, and so we sign off this month with three shades of greatness in one snap:

 lemmy bowie prince

’til next time!

New noise One Three One

REWIND MARCH: Urthona soundtracking, Mike Patton Freakzone and MegaDave’s thirteen faves 

Very late round-up of some March bitz so let’s just GET – ON – WITH – IT. Without shouting, sorry.

After waiting like a dum-dum for the Urthona out-of-stock message to vanish on the Arch Drude’s Head Heritage Merchandiser page, I shook off my Total Bell head and went a-virtual hunting for Urthona Plays Atlantis?, another soundtrack to Julian Cope’s One Three One novel: yep, I went to the Source – Urthona’s own campband site. And guess what? Said CD is very-much-there, very-much-in-stock…pretty obvious when you think about, but I didn’t. Anyway, released back in January, this 37-minute two-tracker is livewire drone sculpting writ large, as you’d expect from Urthona’s self-styled heavy rural-ism. Bruxo is windswept soothing with semi-ambient sunburst, while Reppu is barbed and howling, a bringer of the sinister ’til it blows itself out on Pagey violinbow moans to kiss the mellow once again. Top-o’-the-moors stuff. If you know Urthona then no great changes (good, we like it that way), and if One Three One’s epic Vesuvio floated your whatsit last year, be sure to check Atlantis? right here. And – stock arrival alert (finally) – here.

Mike Patton John Kaada 

Kaada Patton are back! Not with More Romances from Johnny and Mikey, but the scarier sounding Bacteria Cult. They were interviewed – no, they spoke to each other and it was broadcast as an interview – on Stuart Maconie’s Freakzone at the weekend, and while the set-up sounds as natural as plastic, you gotta tune in, right? MIKE PATTON, on the wireless! ‘Interview’ is here, around 44 minutes in, and if you stick around in the F-zone there’s a new Enslaved track aired. Stick around even longer and there’s a Saturday night delve into Patton’s Many Many Bands on the Freakier Zone, April 10th. A fine excuse to visit that sprawling Patton back catalogue again.

Daveus Mustaineus Quietus

Of course, he’s not quiet – he knows not how – but this feature in Quietus was a pretty cool read: Mustaine and 13 of his fave formative albums. Words spoken like a fan, and man-of-the-year Bowie and classic Zep in the mix as well.

’til next time!