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Mr. Bungle - Mr. Bungle

1991 Warner Bros Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-07

One of the things that I'm most pissed about in life is that I have the case to all my Mr Bungle demos, but the actual tapes are gone forever. So until some kind soul trades me for them, I'll have to be content with the fact that I bought this disc pretty much the day it came out. How can one begin to put into words the insanity that is present here? You can't, but amazingly enough, Mr Bungle is ten times more musical than their next effort. A stunning amalgam of Death Metal, ska, punk, jazz and aural sickness, I guarantee this is like nothing you've ever heard before. Often referred to as Mike Patton's "Side Project", that is completely untrue, Patton being in Mr Bungle when he was plucked from obscurity, and using his new found power to sign his hometown heroes. Each Mr Bungle album is an experience all it's own, and the S/T finds the boys still in their halloween motif, spitting out tales of demented carnivals, aged movie stars, dead family pets and rampant sexual antics with musical abandon, throwing everything into the pot and letting it boil way over. Supposedly this was produced by John Zorn, and I suppose his fingerprints can be found, but I have the feeling he more let them run rampant in the studio. A bit adolescent in the lyric department, the songs mirror life, however, as does the music, although 3 days in the hole with these gus may just put you over the edge. If I have to congratulate anyone here, it's Heifetz, who holds this entire thing together, somehow. I know that there are people who just hate this album, but I, as well as a slew of others, feel that it is one of the greatest albums, ever. <br><br> Bit of trivia, Johnny boy's return to the big screen promted a law suit which found the first track being renamed from Travolta to "". I guess he got popular again, who would have known.

  • Mr. Bungle - Disco Volante

    Mr. Bungle - Disco Volante
    1995 Warner Bros Records


    Bungle Fever

Mr. Bungle - Disco Volante

1995 Warner Bros Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-08

Much as each track would surprise on their first offering, Disco Volante dares you to remain a fan, going way over the edge of sanity to provide one truly demented album. The suits at Warner Brothers must have been downing those nitro pills, as this is nowhere near consumer standards. Yeah, it only took them four years, but once again the boys have managed to make an incredible album. What was different about this one was that it actually took me quite a few listens to "get" it, something I truly appreciate now. Between the plodding opener, which recounts some memorable school days, to the closer Merry Go Bye Bye (which begins with a nice little ditty before just bursting into some high octane Death metal), you're taken to aural hell and back, viewing each piece as a whole, dissected and mashed together while somehow still making sense. To quote: "This is some pretty f*&ked up s&*t right here!". I mean, this thing is all over the place, Chemical Marriage sounding like roller rink music, Violenza scaring the crap out of me (the knife sharpening effect is intense), and Ma Meeshka being a pictureless cartoon. People that hated the first one really hated this one, but for those of us that got it... I spent an entire Christmas Break driving around in the snow listening to this, thinking that I would lose my mind, it's that good. Again clocking in at almost 75 minutes, these aren't so much listening experiences as they are tests of will. What's most impressive is that this is all reproduced live. I think you get the idea, but if you're still not sure, ask yourself the question, "Do you want to listen to something really scary?".

Mr. Bungle - California

1999 Warner Bros Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-08

Another four years, and 5/6 of the original band provide us with a little musical insight into their perception of that western US mecca we all call California. It's probably pretty safe to say that no one outside of the band themselves had any ideas as to what direction would be taken here, Disco Volante being so incredibly different from the first album, and within 3 seconds, you know that the past is gone. As I played the first minute of Vanity Fair, I tried to think back to the first time I heard Disco, and the absolute horror I went through during the first minute of that album as well. "What have they done?" I screamed, dreading that this new direction had mellowed out these guys. Fear not, California being more demented than anything before, if not for the simple fact that 95% is so damn accurate, I almost feel as though I'm living the last 3 decades along the coastline. Much like the hatred that shimmers below that golden surface in LA, California contains the overcoat of a poppy little surf album, but dig a little deeper, and you hear the pain of the rat race, the agony of the aging actress, the widening girth of the surf star. Life is dark, and according to Mr Bungle, California contains the Lion's Share of humanity's darkness. What I love here is that one could listen to songs such as None of them... and think, wow, my grandparents could get into this! But read the lyrics... dude. It's too early to tell what profound effect this will have on my life, but the melodies here are already hooked in, reminding me of the slower parts of another incredible California album, Faith no More's King for Day... I won't rate this just yet, but I can recommend this to those that have a taste for the bizarre. Warning: May contain trace amounts of heavy metal within.