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Mandatory Music: Faith No More, Sleigh Bells, Soundgarden + More

Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

It wasn’t all that long ago that trying to sneak a new song into the world was like sneaking a space shuttle into a restaurant. But these days, even the likes of megastars like Radiohead and Beyonce can record an album without anyone knowing and release it online on a random Thursday. This week’s installment of Mandatory Music is a testament to that: Both Faith No More and Sleigh Bells are just a few of the acts who surprised everyone with new tracks. Although we do miss the mystique of standing in line outside a record store for midnight release parties, it’s kind of nice knowing any random Thursday could bring a huge surprise.



If you’re under the age of 18, all of the Faith No More music that exists in the world was released before you were born. (Although, if you’re under the age of 18 and actually into Faith No More, your musical tastes put you firmly in the top five percentile of teenagers.) But that changed this week when Mike Patton and the boys dropped the new single, ‘Motherf–ker,’ the first song from the legendary Oakland outfit’s long-awaited follow-up to 1997’s ‘Album of the Year.’ The currently untitled album was recorded and mixed by the band themselves and ‘Motherf–ker’ (which will be released as a limited-edition 7-inch vinyl for Record Store Day’s Black Friday event) is all about the band’s new DIY approach. The album should be out April via Faith No More’s own imprint, Reclamation Recordings.


‘That Did It’

Possibly even more surprising than a new Faith No More track, however, is the unexpected new single from co-ed noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells. Guitarist/producer Derek E. Miller told Rolling Stone ‘That Did It’ was originally recorded in 2013 under the working title, ‘Infinite Power,’ but he wasn’t happy with it so it spent two years sitting on his hard drive. But after the pair shared a stage with Chicago rapper Tink at South By Southwest earlier this year, they found the missing ingredient. Tink provided a brand new opening verse and the song took on brand new life — enough that Sleigh Bells released it on its own.


‘Kristi’ from ‘Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path’

True, we’ve already covered the previously unreleased ‘Storm’ from Soundgarden‘s rarities compilation, ‘Echo of Miles.’ That track, however, was a newly recorded version of a 30-year-old demo back from the grunge forefathers’ earliest days. But ‘Kristi,’ the latest song released from the collection, is a whole different animal. Recorded during the sessions for 1996’s ‘Down On the Upside,’ the driving anthem was only ever played live once (at England’s Reading Festival in 1995) and it was allegedly drummer Matt Cameron’s favorite song from that batch of songs — which, if you ask us, provided Soundgarden with some of their best, most fearless cuts.


‘Straight’ from ‘Transfixation’

Since they released their third album, ‘Worship,’ back in 2012, A Place to Bury Strangers have been in a nonstop cycle of touring and recording. In an attempt to fully bring the two together, the Brooklyn trio recorded their upcoming record, ‘Transfixation,’ with their explosive live act in mind. According to a press release, the band “trusted its instincts and tried to keep things as pure as possible. If that meant a mess of cross-contaminated microphones and mud-caked mistakes, so be it. Music is much more exhilarating when it’s unpredictable, and this is very much an unpredictable record.” From the gritty feedback of ‘Straight,’ it sounds like APTBS might have accomplished what they set out to do.


‘Built For’ from ‘Settled’ EP

New Jersey indie outfit Prawn had a hard month. While playing a show in the Netherlands a few weeks back, a part of a stage flipped and clipped the heel of frontman Tony Clark. As the wound was being attended to, someone smashed their van window and stole a backpack containing a laptop, passport and more. So the very least you can do is listen to their sweet new song, ‘Built For,’ which was supposed to be on the ‘Kingfisher’ LP released earlier this year, but wouldn’t fit on the 12-inch vinyl. The band are instead including the song along with another new one on an EP called ‘Settled,’ which will be another Record Store Day Black Friday release. The EP will also be included in a deluxe edition of ‘Kingfisher’ out November 25 via Topshelf.

Next: 21 Best Alt Rock Albums of the 21st Century

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