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Mr. Bungle - Mr. Bungle CD (album) cover

MR. BUNGLE

Mr. Bungle

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.89 | 129 ratings

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FruMp
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album single-handedly got me into both prog and metal.

My friend recommended me this album because I was into The Mars Volta at the time (for some odd reason he thought they were similar) so I put it on and laughed for literally 70 minutes, the entire duration of the album, MR. BUNGLE I loved everything about them, the nonsensical lyrics, the things they do to deliberately annoy the listener, the references to their record label hidden their lyrics, the utter sillyness of it all. MR. BUNGLE are a very unique band, they meld just about every genre under the sun from jazz to metal to bossa nova to carnival music usually in the space of one song and usually liberally sprinkled with crazy production and samples and their debut self titled album is the height of their song writing creativity and considering the above it's an amazing achievement that the band were able to create one self-contained cohesive song let alone 10.

MR. BUNGLE is something of an all-star lineup these days, all of the core musicians are amazingly prolific and all have/had many side-projects and different records most notably front man Mike Patton (FAITH NO MORE, FANTOMAS) who contributes some great schizophrenic vocals and hilarious lyrics along with some great synth work. Trey Spruance (SECRET CHIEFS 3, FAXED HEAD) contributes some of the best material here with his styles ranging from ska to metal to funk, his riffs are very interesting and very very original. Trevor Dunn (FANTOMAS, SECRET CHIEFS 3) contributes some amazingly funky bass to the equation and coupled with understated yet super smooth jazzy drummer Danny Heifetz (SECRET CHIEFS 3, FAXED HEAD) coupled with 2 saxophonists the group is complete, their eclectic styles meshing to form a mentally deranged musical leviathan.

There are many many highlights on the album but my main gripe is that there are fairly long intros and outros to a lot of the songs but there is some funny stuff that goes on there a lot of the time (including a recording of Mike Pattons bout of gastric trouble).

Opening song Quote Unquote (originally called Travolta after actor John Travolta but changed to the name of his official biography to avoid legal troubles) is probably the most straight up song, a metallic song starting invoking the trademark Bungle carnival atmosphere.

Slowly Growing Deaf is a definate highlight, it's probably the most serious song on the album but it's amazing when it moves from upbeat ska to pseudo-thrashy metal and the quiet parts add a a great contrast.

Squeeze me Macaroni is absolutely off the hook with funky bass, frenetic ska guitar and fevered rantings about fornication in a kitchen in disgusting detail.

Carousel is another fantastic song, invoking images of a dilapidated fair ground with some great synth/organ work from Patton.

Egg is a hilarious song pondering the age old question of which came first the egg or the chicken? ending in frustrating fashion chanting There's no place like home 2 times before faltering on the third time (MR. BUNGLE never did make it back to Kansas unfortunately) followed by audio of the band when they went train surfing.

Stubb a Dub is a great little song (without guitar surprisingly, it's hard to notice it though) about a dog that thinks it's a person.

My Ass Is On Fire is another hilarious song about the aftermath of eating hot chili, the heaviest song on the album featuring a massive chorus with drums that sound like someone pounding on corrugated iron.

The Girls of Porn is one of the funniest songs on the album with some sleazy wah bass and lyrics about masturbation and pornography featuring samples from pornographic movies (including one where the male actor is called Mr Bungle) with a hilarious breakdown detailing all kinds of distasteful acts, it's very unsavoury but belly-achingly funny.

Love is a Fist is another great metallic song detailing how Patton feels strongly against violence.

The ending song Dead Goon is a bit lackluster to be honest but it features an amazing bass riff from Dunn and some great carnival moments but overall nothing much happens, it's a shame it would be good if such a fantastic album ended strongly.

Overall MR. BUNGLE is a riot, full of laughs, fully of zany antics and very out there compositions abound with great moments, highly recommended to anyone into funny music and avant-garde stuff, fans of ZAPPA and FANTOMAS would definitely enjoy.

FruMp | 5/5 |

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