Mike Patton Reviews

Here are links to reviews of albums by bands led by Mike Patton.

Mr. Bungle: 1985-2004, 2019-present

Though the first official release Patton sang on was from Faith No More, Bungle recorded a lot of music before he joined FNM. Read my reviews of all Mr. Bungle albums and most of their demos.

Faith No More: 1988-1998, 2009-present

Read my reviews of all Patton-led Faith No More albums here.

1996: Adult Themes for Voice (???)

I have listened to this years ago. I thought I wrote a review. I guess I didn’t. Read my reviews of albums released in 1996.

1997: Pranzo oltranzista (???)

I believe I only listened to his first solo album, not this one. Read my reviews of music from 1997.

Fantômas: 1998-2014?

They haven’t released a studio album since 2005 but apparently put out a single as late as 2014. Read my reviews of all studio albums by Fantômas.

Weird Little Boy: 1998

I have not listened to this one off band with Zorn and Trey Spruance.

Tomahawk: 1999-present

My favourite 21st century alt metal band. At least they were. Read my reviews of all of Tomahawk’s albums.

Maldoror: 1999

I’ve never listened to this one-off band.

Peeping Tom: 2000-07

I know I listened to this album at least once. Possibly more than that. I didn’t like it at the time and moved on, I believe. No review written.

Lovage: 2001-02

I believed I listened to their one and only album once and knew it wasn’t for me at the time. I never went back.

Releases from 2002:

Hemophiliac (???)

I have yet to listen to this one-off collaboration with John Zorn and Ikue Mori.

“Irony is a Dead Scene” (8/10) with The Dillinger Escape Plan

This is a match made in heaven. Patton is the perfect vocalist for this band. The only downsides are that it is so short (one wishes it was way longer) and it makes one hypothesize about how rad something like Ire Works would be if Patton had joined the band. That makes me sad.

Read my reviews of all Dillinger Escape Plan albums.

2004: Romances (???) with Kaada

I if I listened to this when it came out, I listened to it only once.

2005: General Patton vs. The X-Ecutioners (???)

I’m pretty sure I listened to this when it came out, or started to, and quickly lost interest.

2006: The Stone: Issue One (???) with John Zorn, Bill Laswell, Rob Burger, Ben Perwosky

Never listened to it.

Moonchild Trio: 2006-2013

I have never listened to this avant garde jazz trio which performs pieces by Zorn.

2008: A Perfect Place (6?/10)

I absolutely listened to this when it came out but I can’t find a review.

2009: Crank: High Voltage (???)

I’m pretty sure I didn’t listen to this and I don’t think I’ve seen the movie.

2010: Mondo Cane (6?/10)

I listened to this when it came out. Like so many of his fans, I was confused. But people contain multitudes. No review.

2011: The Solitude of Prime Numbers (???)

Never listened to it and never saw the movie.

2012: Luciano Berio: Laborintus II (9/10) with Ictus Ensemble, Nederlands Kamerkoor

I should eat this up. This is a work written by my favourite Italian composer of the second half of the 20th century – and with Busoni and Puccini, a contender for my favourite Italian composer of the 20th century – performed, in part, by my favourite male rock singer of all time – and the Greatest Male Rock Singer of All-Time, and if you doubt that, leave a comment and I will prove it through a blog post.

But I have to nitpick.

This isn’t really a performance by Patton, but more by the Ictus Ensemble and the Nederlands Kamerkoor. Yes, Patton plays a major role, but only one of many. It’s the cult of the vocalist – something I detest – which encourages releasing stuff like this under the name of the primary vocalist – though the fact that he owns the label and probably financed the performance certainly is another reason. It’s a cult that is rampant in both rock music and “art” music. It’s not a criticism of the music herein, it’s just something I can’t get over that continues to bug me. This should have been released as an Ictus ensemble release if ego got out of the way.

As for the music, it is incredible. Berio was always so forward thinking, even when he was looking back (like in his folk song adaptations for Berbarian). Few people challenge me like Berio does. He was clearly open to much more than the average composer born in the 1920s and its great to hear how he combines influences from musical theatre, free jazz, and the traditions he was schooled in himself.

I can’t say whether this performance is up to his personal standard, but I can’t really say that about any “classical” work I listen to (having not listened to enough to judge orchestras against each other), and so I can only judge the work based on the context it was written in, the late ’60s. From that standpoint it is revolutionary, and the only thing keeping me from giving it full marks is its length, which is excessive.

Read my reviews of albums released in 2012 and reviews of music from 1965.

2013 The Place Beyond the Pines Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (7/10)

I had always assumed that Patton’s biggest film-music influence was Morricone, as Morricone’s influence is all over (some) Fantomas and Patton has even put together a Morricone anthology. But here, the big influence is Angelo Badalamenti. This is like a Twin Peaks score only without the cheese, and with the occasional dose of Sunn O))). That’s a good thing in my mind. The tracks that flesh out his score are all interesting enough and I may actually have to rethink what I think of Bon Iver.

December 2013: I really enjoy this and not just because I am far too fond of Patton. This was a legitimate surprise for me and an honest-to-goodness left-turn for Patton, I believe. Yes, we know Patton likes Badalamenti (Fantomas has covered him) but this score really does make me once again ponder what it is I think Patton does. And he does it well here. And frankly that’s what I want out of artists I keep tabs on; I like surprises.

I didn’t like the movie as much.

Nevermen: 2008-2016

I listened to their single when it finally came out (seven years after the project was announced), then I added the album to my list and never got around to it.

2016: Bacteria Cult (???) with Kaada

Because I didn’t have a fond memory of the first Kaada album, I didn’t listen to this either.

tētēma: 2014-2020?

Unlike most of Patton’s later projects, I’ve managed to hear all (2) of their albums. Read my reviews of tētēma’s albums.

Dead Cross: 2015-present

I have yet to listen to them.

2018: 1922 (???)

Haven’t listened to it or watched it.

2019: Corpse Flower (???) with Jean-Claude Vannier

I read a review of this that turned me off for some reason. So I never listened to it.

2023: John Zorn: Elegy (???) with Barbara Chaffe, David Slusser, Trey Spruance, William Winant, David Shea, David Abel

Like the other Zorn collaborations, I haven’t listened to this. (I have watched a couple of live performances with Zorn over the years, though.)