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Mr. Bungle - Bowl Of Chiley (demo) CD (album) cover


Mr. Bungle


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3 stars Bowl of Chiley is the second demo from Mr. Bungle. It has appeared at varying length, from 17 songs to 14 to 12. My review is using the 17 song version. I stumbled across it and the other Bungle demos and wasted no time snatching them up. As with all the Mr. Bungle demos, Bowl of Chiley shows the band developing their skills. Some of the songs find their way onto future releases (the last two demos and Carousel actually makes onto the debut album). The rest are only heard here, which makes this worth getting.

Mr. Bungle's first demo showed them in their death metal day, but this is where they really began to experiment. Nicotina is an 8 1/2 minute song that opens with a light sax and it keeps a beach rock theme, though it gets heavier and faster. Incoherence plays like John Zorn circa-Naked City. Evil Satan has festive composition that stands in sharp contrast to Patton's amusing raps and growls. Jumping (Part One) is fast-paced funk and features Patton rapping. This is probably where people started drawing similarities between Bungle and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which would lead to a public feud in the 90s. Jumping (Part Two) opens with a reggae beat before it explodes into metal, then calms back down for a clean guitar break and Patton scatting. Fart in a Bag shows that Mike's toilet humor was evident before he joined Faith No More.

The rest of the songs are interesting, but this is quite clearly a band struggling to find its sound. If you listen to Mr. Bungle, you can understand the difficulty in bringing all of their influences together. This sounds like Patton heard John Zorn in between this demo and the first, and the use of insane sax is much more evident here. This is where Mike first shows his gift for avant garde composition, but it is a scarce indicator of just how far he would push the boundaries. If you are a fan of Patton, you should try to find this. However, newbies should get Mr. Bungle's studio albums first. This is good, but by no means is it essential.

Grade: C-

Report this review (#134970)
Posted Sunday, August 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Bowl of chiley is an awesome album. while there is no truely descent copies floating around, it may be rough to listen to if your looking for quality. However if your a bungle fan you have to get a copy of this. Its their second demo and they strayed away from there mainly death metal infuence from the first demo. Quite the jump accually. this album is mainly ska and funk. Only one song accually made it to their first lp. but its full of great songs. Definition of shapes is funky as all sorts of h*ll. and half way through the song they bust into an Inxs song (which is something they did quite often live- bust into a cover song in the middle of a pre-existing song). If your really not into ska or funk, i would probly pass on this album. but if you have the main lps of bungle and cant get enough its an awesome album. and its always fun to see the origins of a crazy band.
Report this review (#275628)
Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
2 stars The second MR BUNGLE demo emerged only a year after the first and found the band shedding their death metal skin and began to take on a ska funk rock sound that was part of the alternative underground of the 80s most notably mastered by bands like Fishbone, Red Hot Chili Peppers and 24/7 Spyz amongst others. Likewise with a sound shift came a new cast of characters. While Mike Patton, Trey Spruance and Trevor Dunn were riding the BUNGLE carousel for the long run, others like Jed Watts and Martin Fosnaugh jumped ship after only one demo. While Theo Lengyel wouldn't remain with the band till its demise, he nevertheless appeared on all the early demos. The is also the only appearance of Scott Fritz who played trumpet.

So different in style is the second demo BOWEL OF CHILEY compared to the previous "The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny" that it sounds like a completely different band with only Mike Patton's signature vocal style giving a clue as to who this band is. While the first demo was rather short in length, BOWEL OF CHILEY is a full album's length with different tracks taking on different identities ranging from ska and funk rock to (occasional) avant-garde metal and just plain weird rock. While the the next two demos showcased many of the primeval forms of tracks that would be reworked and released on the 1991 debut album, this one contains almost exclusively compositions that would never see the light of day on any album with the sole exception of "Carousel" which sounds very primitive compared to the masterpiece it would become. While the main melodic riff was already developed, Mike Patton's vocals weren't and the whole thing sounds like a drunken romp at a Mexican mariachi party.

Speaking of mariachi parties, "Evil Satan" probably sounds the most like a Mexican tequila march and fully in sync with the swing revival fad of the 90s with a dash of alternative rock guitar added to the recipe. Nice trumpet work though and this tracks sounds a lot like Fishbone only not nearly as good as their debut EP from 1985. "Jumping" has some great jazzy guitar work from Spruance although Patton doesn't quite pull off the Ethel Merman thing with his scatting. The track "( )" (no, Sigur Ros didn't come up with that!) is probably my favorite as Trevor Dunn displays his full bass playing fury as does Spruance churn out the most funkified guitar riffs that turn into heavy funk metal. Also Patton seems to have mastered his vocals and overall the track is just more interesting and varied. It sounds more professional and closer to the avant-garde funk metal prowess of the debut album. It's also a sneak preview into the world of progressive rock with some wickedly cool time signature deviations and compositional fortitude.

There are two versions of this demo. The first was released as a cassette and meant to be what it was released as: a demo. It contained twelve tracks from "For No Reason" to "Freight Train." The popularity of the band in the 90s found the demand for their demos to be re-issued so lo and behold a CD version emerged in 1997 with five extra unreleased tracks with cute names like "Far In A Bag" and "Snap, Crackle, Pop." Although an improvement and a welcome stylistic shift from their lackluster death metal days, BOWEL OF CHILEY is a long way from prime time and finds the band able to write a few catchy songs, most of the tracks come off as amateurish and mediocre. Add to that that they still haven't mastered the art of performing them. Patton's vocals are particularly awful and he hadn't quite learned the techniques he was grasping for. An interesting historical artifact for those who wish to dig deep but not really of interest for anyone else.

2.5 rounded down

Report this review (#1844762)
Posted Friday, December 22, 2017 | Review Permalink

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