Mr. Bungle
Mr. Bungle


4.5
superb

Review

by A : w.e.b. CONTRIBUTOR (100 Reviews)
November 29th, 2014 | 50 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: All behold the spectacle.

If you were to ask anyone about what they would describe Mr. Bungle as, it’s a surefire guarantee that there would be extremely varied opinions and responses to said question. Some would describe the group as funk metal or ska, while others label them as avant-garde. Hell, a select few would just claim them to be a strictly “experimental” band. However, with the absurd amount of variety present in Mr. Bungle’s discography spanning throughout the nineties, it can be said that the band will never be labelled as just a specific genre. It’s impossible. At one moment, the band could be playing funk-flavoured metal, and the next second it could be middle-eastern influenced techno music. No label would ever fit with a band such as this. The band’s next two albums would capitalize on said variety, and would increase the band's cult and critical popularity to an astounding effect.

Produced by the avant-garde legend John Zorn, ”Mr. Bungle” is a seventy-minute long experience that is well worth the length. The subjects of the ten tracks on the album can come off as discouraging. Notable instances such as the overly sexual ”The Girls of Porn” and ”Squeeze Me Macaroni” - the former about a narrator’s pornography addiction and training for intercourse through said vice; the latter an explicit sexual hors d'oeuvre featuring food products (“I was givin' some head to some french bread/It was a four course orgy on the spread of my bed”). Both tracks showcase the outlandish, grotesque songwriting the band would be known for in their early years. Tracks such as ”Stubb (A Dub)” and ”Travolta” captures a glimpse at the somewhat more “serious” side of Bungle - that isn’t really saying much though - with themes such as the slow death of a dog; and of a paraplegic gimp who uses foreign substances to escape his cruel reality by imagining himself as famous historical figures and celebrities.

Samples are commonplace on the album amidst all the obscenities, ranging from pinball machines (such as “Cyclone”), “Blue Velvet”, Kentucky Fried Chicken advert outtakes - all the way to recordings of the band train-hopping and witnessing “a man described as a skin-head assaulting his son”. These samples either add to the charm of the album, or take away from the album’s quality overall - an acquired taste perhaps? The musicianship on the album is absolutely flawless, the perfection of the band’s craft from years of practice paid off with immaculate, ornate artistry that no one else could even come close to in skill or groove. While other musicians had showcased an ability to switch genres at a whim, Mr. Bungle puts them all to shame. At one minute, they’ll be playing a lullaby of sorts laden with keyboards and high-pitched vocals, and as soon as you know it, they’ll be playing the closest thing to “funk metal” and/or ska. It’s stunning to say the least.

While future endeavors would prove far more fruitful, ”Mr. Bungle” provided a magnificent beginning to the band’s peak - not only in skill, but in songwriting; and in being innovative for the time period. All the while, grunge and alternative rock was just on the horizon, and hair metal and synthpop were in their death throes. Mr. Bungle had spent nearly six whole years perfecting their craft, down to the littlest details. Gone were the irritating generic death metal riffs found on ”The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny” and ”Bowel of Chiley”, as well as the poor production that came with most demo tapes of the 1980s, replaced by the crystal clear, articulate production of one John Zorn. With masterful use of samples that rarely fail to amuse the listener and tend to be an acquired taste to many, and grotesque, explicit song topics that would make Tipper Gore squirm uncomfortably, ”Mr. Bungle” is not only an album worth listening to, but is an experience that must be heard to be believed.



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user ratings (1059)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Will Warner Bros. put our record on the shelf?"



Mr. Bungle - s/t: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ_3F93hgZw

"Travolta": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq5s0KrFkmo



http://www.bunglefever.com/faq.html

BMDrummer
November 29th 2014


13850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you knew all along GODDAMMIT

Inveigh
November 29th 2014


26185 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review, and i love this album too; however, i wish you would've kept the narrative more along the lines of the first paragraph rather than delving into a more literal description of the music, since that's already been done. I think the concept of trying to describe this record in terms of musical context with relation to its time of release and its place in the "scene" at the time is much more interesting, at least in 2014.

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

IT'S NOT FUNNY, MY ASS IS ON FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

BMDrummer
November 29th 2014


13850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bungle threads are shitpost heaven, album rules

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Inveigh- yeah, i get what you mean. to be honest, I really wouldn't know what to say about their place in the scene and all that, and felt as I'd be dragging the review along if I went that route to be honest. However, I suppose I can go over this when I have free time next week.





Now to prepare for the Atlas Eets Christmas review. Maybe Pieta/Sparrow as well? Shit, December is gonna be a busy month...

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

now to quote (unquote) the album to death

Inveigh
November 29th 2014


26185 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

for sure man, I get what you're going for and if someone is new to the band/album/genre this is pretty informative. just as someone who has read countless reviews of this record and listened to it a ton, I got really excited at your first paragraph and was hoping the rest of the review would follow suit. i think you underestimate yourself, you could definitely continue that commentary and make it sound legit.

deathschool
November 29th 2014


21627 Comments


Ahhhh, shit. Will read.

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha yeah. the main reason i wrote this was in the hopes of maybe replacing that ancient flagged review

that's from nearly ten years ago. 2bejewed4me.



Maybe I am playing it way too safe in terms of progression when it comes to some artists. I notice I did

something similar in my Bowel of Chiley review.

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i really feel like quoting Trapped in the Closet right now...



okay, so i got some big plans for next month.



The Soft Bulletin

Hot Rats

The Seed and the Sower

Yellow Magic Orchestra

Atlas Eets Christmas

Pieta



(some will be done, some not. who knows.)

BMDrummer
November 29th 2014


13850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

finish enid discog

Inveigh
November 29th 2014


26185 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

dude if you haven't heard Hot Rats get on that now

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

heard that nearly two years ago, jam it every once in a while.



those are albums (Pieta is an EP) I am considering writing reviews for this coming month. Probably will do two/three of them.



BM, I'll probably get to TSATS by January. I plan on getting to the end of the discog in time for the new album however.

Gyromania
November 29th 2014


22015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

my ass is on fire is seriously one of the best songs ever

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

for future reference on how to avoid a fatal booty blasting, see B. Nixon's (BM) first comment.



YOU KNEW ALL ALONG

JokineAugustus
November 29th 2014


8576 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is more fun than wanking off to The girls of Porn.

Judio!
November 29th 2014


8369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

EGG





















EGG

Digging: Four Tet - Rounds

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
November 29th 2014


12742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

EGG?

SkaCali
November 29th 2014


291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

...



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