MR. BUNGLE

"Disco Volante" (Warner Bros,; 1995)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Joining the likes of early Thought Industry for eclecticism gone wild, Mr. Bungle merge, meld, smash, and otherwise contort musical mayhem from a variety of sources. Actually, a lot of sources, more sources than you can shake a stick at.

Listening to “Disco Volante” ranks up there with Fredrik Thordendal’s Special Defects’ “Sol Niger Within,” The Butthole Surfers’ “Rembrandt Pussyhorse,” and The Jesus Lizard’s “Goat” as challenging listens that will alter your perception of musical heaviness and weirdness. But I’ve always considered stretching boundaries to be a good thing – it just takes some of us a little longer to appreciate it.

It takes impassioned dedication to first: get through the expansive “Disco Volante”, and second: to fully absorb, the weirdness of Mr. Bungle’s musical stew. Metal, hard rock, ska, punk, noise, jazz, drum-n-bass, ambient, movie theme-styled music, quasi-lounge, and just about everything has a role in the mayhem of “Disco Volante.” This eclectic mix leads to an unpredictable sequence of songs (or even sections within songs) that amaze, confound, and otherwise perplex even the most ardent fans of heavy music. And you know what – it’s totally worth it.

In some respects it is hard to take Mr. Bungle seriously. A lot of the music seems half-assed and thrown together like one might throw cooked spaghetti to a wall and call the finished product ‘art.’ However, music isn’t always what it seems on the surface so make your judgments carefully.

“Disco Volante” is sick and twisted. So answer me this: how did Mr. Bungle get a recording contract with the straight-laced suits at Warner Brothers? Surely Mike Patton’s success with Faith No More had pretty much everything to do with Mr. Bungle’s recording contract. Any commercial or critical success after that is surely icing on the “Platypus.”

Mr. Bungle use aliases, but the identities of the band members is pretty well known by now. Mr. Bungle is Mike Patton on lead vocals, Trey Spruance on guitar, Trevor Dunn on bass, Theo Lengyel on alto saxophone, Clinton McKinnon on tenor saxophone and clarinet, and Danny Heifetz on drums.

For more information check out this fan’s website http://www.bunglefever.com/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 15 Mar 2017 23:33:43 -0500.