Mr. Bungle
Disco Volante


4.5
superb

Review

by Nash J. CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
March 7th, 2014 | 303 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mr. Bungle's most creative and experimental release of their career. Disco Volante is something we all need to experience one time or another, even if we drive ourselves mad while doing so.

As human beings, we all desire to be unconventional in one way or another. To rebel against the social norm. To fight back against what society deems as “proper” or “correct.” To do whatever you damn well please without limits or bounds, ignoring peoples’ expectations of you. In 1995, Mr. Bungle, a band already infamous for their unconventionality, released an album that would redefine the word “experimental” for years to come. The album, entitled Disco Volante, ditched the jazzy, self-described “funk-metal” of Mr. Bungle’s eponymous debut in exchange for a more electronic, avant-garde sound. While Disco Volante is rightfully considered to be the low point of Mr. Bungle’s illustrious career, people tend to overlook that the album was also arguably the band’s creative peak. Each and every song radiates with wonder; a surprise present in a box, begging to be unwrapped. Just like a proper unconventionalist, Mr. Bungle play by their own rules on this album. There is no telling what random combination of genres each song will convey, be it Middle Eastern-techno (“Desert Search For Techno Allah”), Jazzy-electronic-tribal music (“Chemical Marriage”), or Pop-Black Metal-Noise rock (“Merry Go Bye-Bye”). Needless to say, it turned quite a few heads upon release, and is still confusing people to this very day. Still, the album has stood the test of time as a one of a kind contribution to the experimental genre, and is a fascinating experience that can never be recreated.

Disco Volante is an enigma; it is an experience unlike any other. It is a nightmarish concoction of the most sickening ingredients one can possibly fathom. The album’s sound is ugly, mean-spirited, distasteful, disgusting, and dreadful; it is an unpleasant listening experience, to say the least. However, what makes Disco Volante such a triumph is the expert way in which the album was molded. It is not the music itself that makes the album so captivating, but the experience as a whole. Although reviews of this album which break it apart and evaluate the music track-by-track are populous in number and easy to write, each one of them have completely missed the mark and do the album no justice. When each track is discussed individually, the album appears to be a disjointed mess of noisy nonsense and random experimentation with little redeeming value outside of the tracks “Desert Search For Techno Allah,” “Chemical Marriage,” and “Carry Stress In the Jaw,” which, despite containing characteristics of Mr. Bungle’s bizarre avant-garde on some level, are all seemingly still rooted in the real world. For instance, it is easy to dismiss opener “Everyone I Went To Highschool With Is Dead,” a sloppy bass-driven song with chanted vocals, which may be one of the ugliest songs ever recorded. The song appears to be of no redeeming value, and its purpose on the album is not made apparent until the next track, “Chemical Marriage,” begins to play. Both songs inexplicably work wonderfully together, with the nastiness of “Everyone…” juxtaposing the fine-tuned, conventional nature of the following track in the most perfect fashion.

While the songs themselves have absolutely no structure, the album has a certain flow; a natural progression from song-to-song which is bound to keep the listener’s attention throughout. No matter how unpleasantly one song may have ended, the unpredictable nature of the album, derived from Mr. Bungle’s manic “genre-mashing,” keeps Disco Volante sounding consistently fresh and inspired. Although some songs may become intolerable near their conclusions, such as“ The Bends,” which ends with ear-splitting static, or the disturbing, child-like voice at the end of “After School Special,” the listener will always remain captivated enough to continue listening, as the next track is guaranteed to bring something new and unexpected to the table. With Disco Volante, Mr. Bungle have crafted an album which must be viewed as a whole as opposed to by its parts, making it the most unique album in the band’s entire discography.

When referring to Disco Volante, people seem to enjoy drawing comparisons between the album and to what one may experience under the influence of narcotics. I, however, think that Sputnikmusic user “InbredJed” said it best when he first recommended the album to me and described, in his own words, that listening to this album is akin to watching a movie. In many respects this is so; mostly in that the album feels like a complete, cohesive experience with a natural flow. Although it is frequently off-the-wall, and its pace often meanders, Disco Volante is one of the most eclectic and intriguing releases of all time.

I leave you now with a quote taken from the album, one that I believe sums up my thoughts on Disco Volante better than I could ever have said so myself:

“Bboawogh c wha fftyk onsk oooeeh oooeeh yeefm loolt msten!”
-"Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz"



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4.1
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other reviews of this album
Smell The Cheese (3.5)
Decent Genre mashing eclecticism, The Desert Search for Techno Allah is the best song...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Had to rewrite this review four separate times before I finally came up with something I'm not 100%
dissatisfied with. I had so many different opinions on this album that this was almost impossible to
write, so I hope I did an adequate job. Thanks for reading, feedback is awesome.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

oltnabrick
March 7th 2014


31568 Comments


is this actually good though?

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A neg already? The second I post the review?

Yes Oltna this is fantastic. Not quite as good as other Mr. Bungle albums but still a classic.

oltnabrick
March 7th 2014


31568 Comments


i did not neg lol

ive only heard the first mr bungle album and i didnt really like it

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well yeah I know you wouldn't neg me haha. This honestly is nothing like the first release. The first was a lot more heavy metal whereas this is leaning toward electronic and avant-garde. I know plenty of people who hate the other Bungle albums but love this one. You should give it a shot

Gwyn.
March 7th 2014


15321 Comments


recommended by reviewer
Tomahawk Tomahawk
Mr. Bungle California
Mr. Bungle Mr. Bungle
Faith No More Angel Dust


lol


Well review is good, at least it's better than the others so props

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Haha, you don't think those are great recs? And thanks, the reason I wrote this review in the first place was because I just couldn't stand the other ones.

oltnabrick
March 7th 2014


31568 Comments


shut the fuck up. coming into judio's review commenting like a bitch

wtf, you need to learn respect

Greyvy
March 7th 2014


5091 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/forums/image.php?u=877011&dateline=1394179177



Digging: Various Artists - Nippon Girls - Japanese Pop, Beat & Bossa Nova

Gwyn.
March 7th 2014


15321 Comments


No the albums themselves are fine I like them but you pretty much just threw in whatever Mike Patton worked on and the other Bungle stuff which always feels kinda cheap in an amussing way

no big deal tho not like anyone bothers looking at that section anyway

oltnabrick
March 7th 2014


31568 Comments


if no one bothers looking at that section then why point it out?

johnnydeking29
March 7th 2014


9559 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Disco Volante is an enigma unparalleled to anything that has ever been released in the history of music.

Ugh did you really need to say that? The review was pretty solid otherwise

Digging: Blueneck - King Nine

Calc
March 7th 2014


12365 Comments


[people's’]

good word bro

Necrotica
March 7th 2014


10120 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Nice review, but you should really break up that middle paragraph a bit. And yes, I know I'm not one to talk when it comes to that

Gyromania
March 7th 2014


16088 Comments


excellent review, sir

TheCrocodile
March 7th 2014


336 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review.

LizaLowe
March 7th 2014


43 Comments


Well written review

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, guys! Worked really hard on this review, so it's nice to know it turned out ok.

Nice review, but you should really break up that middle paragraph a bit. And yes, I know I'm not one to talk when it comes to that


I tried doing that, but I really can't find a spot in that paragraph when I can break it up. Do you have ideas where?

Ugh did you really need to say that? The review was pretty solid otherwise


Looking back on it, that sentence was pretty awkward (and quite frankly, not all that fair). I'll edit that soon, thanks for pointing it out.

Gwyn.
March 7th 2014


15321 Comments


It would be better avoid using the whole "this is that that of all history of music/whatever" altogether

Very few people, if any, have actual credibility to say something that huge with a straight face

Anyway I pos'd

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 7th 2014


6560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, that's a good point. I probably shouldn't speculate in my reviews as much as I have, will work on that in the future. And thanks for the pos, dude :]



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