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LATEST REVIEWS

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Mr. Bungle
California

by Samuel Barker
December 18, 1999


File Under: Just About Anything
rating: A
tracks

1. Sweet Charity

2. None Of Them Knew They Were Robots

3. Retrovertigo

4. Air-Conditioned Nightmare

5. Ars Moriendi

6. Pink Cigarrette

7. Golem II: The Bionic Vapor Boy

8. The Holy Filament

9. Vanity Fair

10. Goodbye Sober Day 

related links
  • Bungle Fever
  • California, the new album from metal, punk, noise, circus, ska, swing, experimetal, basically, if you can think of it, it's included in the music band, Mr. Bungle is suprisingly soft, but brilliantly arranged. Another tight album from a fine band. Some of you may be aware of this band through Mike Patton, formerly of Faith No More. This band has been around since 1985, and has produced some of the weirdest songs ever made. If you don't know Mr. Bungle, picture the Blue Meanies, 10 times weirder, and with a great deal of musical theory knowledge. Truly off the wall.

    This album begins with the Jimmy Buffet meets Frank Sinatra "Sweet Charity", this song is the smoothest song on the album. Well, arranged, and never lacking a powerful moment. The following track "None Of Them Knew The Were Robots" goes back to the signature oddball style of Mr. Bungle. A lot of weird turns and transitions so sharp, only this band could have pulled them off. Somehow the manage to mesh together touches of metal with undertones of swing, truely amazing. The album then breaks into the mellow accoustic feel of "Retrovertigo". This is a powerful track, complete with the big drawn up climax at the end that breaks into a harder, more heartfelt verse.

    "Air-Conditioned Nightmare" is my favorite track on the album. It start with an almost doo-wah feel, then breaks suddenly to a spacy part, into a little guitar run, back to the spacy part, into a hard metal part. This takes place in a span of 30 seconds, and never misses a beat. "Pink Cigarrette" is a wonderful number, that has a very lounge style vocal sound, and a good relaxing feel. The song properly ends with a high squeeling sound of someone flatlining, because the next song "Golem II" is a weird noisy/circus song, that would make any eclectic proud.

    The Tracks, "The Holy Filament", "Ars Moriendi", and "Goodbye Sober Day" all share a feeling of experimental thought. The songs aren't really that catchy until you've heard the album a few time, but serve as a good interlude between the better songs of the album. These songs will take a few good listens to become suitable for singing along or humming.

    "Vanity Fair" is a great peak to hit before turning to "Goodbye Sober Day". This song is a very uplifting, vocally strong number that will force you to sing along with. This album isn't quite like the previous 2 albums, who were in turn not quite like each other, so Mr.Bungle is doing a great job of keeping it's sound moving. I must recommend picking up some of their albums. Mostly this one and their self-titled. Disco Volante is a little too out there for most people. But this is an impressive album from a fine band. Enjoy the record, and enjoy a ride through all the styles you can handle.

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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