Back in high school, I wrote them off as too bizarre and far too weird for my tastes. Granted, I had only heard their CD Disco Volante, which is still bordering on being too bizarre and weird for me. Also, I had yet to experience the genius that is Mike Patton, so obviously I didn't "get" it.
But as my appreciation for Faith No More grew and then branched out into a full-fledged obsession with anything Patton touched, I decided to give Bungle another try.
After all, Patton started Mr. Bungle in high school - and even when he was called in to be the lead singer of Faith No More in 1989, he said ok ONLY if he could still continue with Mr. Bungle.
I started with their last CD and the most accessible one, California, released in 1999. It has been described as "psychotic lounge music" or "the Beach Boys on acid."
I had already heard the CD in my bf's car once. First thought: "What is this weirdass bullshit? Turn it off!"
I heard it again a few weeks later, "This is fucking weird, crazy ass circus music on the beach acid trip."
Then I listened to it 6 months later, "So damn weird, but hmmm I really love that Pink Cigarette song."
Fourth time I listened to it: "Love song number one too. Hate that creepy circus freak sounds song though."
Fifth time listening to it: "Love Retrovertigo. Love None of them Knew they were Robots. Love that freaky circus song."
Sixth time and beyond: "One of my top 10 favourite albums of all time Ev0r."
Yep, I finally "got" it and the result is musical crack. I've been listening to this album at least twice a day for weeks now and as a result, I think I'm losing touch with my sanity.
Mr. Bungle is not for everyone, obviously...
The music is bizarre, lots of weird noises, it switches tempo, the song structure constantly changes. Often there are no choruses, no bridges, no repetition. Patton alternates between Elvis-like drawls to screaming to Beach Boys harmonies. You'll be listening to a fast song, then it becomes a slow song. Then suddenly it sounds like cats are singing. Back to slow again and then suddenly monks/indians chanting in a cathedral - then CHAK! chakchakchakchakchakchakchakchakchakchakchakchakchakchakchakchak into acid metal and guitars. That song, for example, is Goodbye Sober Day and I invite you to Youtube it just for kicks. I happen to LOVE it, God knows why.
But even though Mr. Bungle is not for everyone, I think the album California COULD BE and I invite you to watch a few videos from it.
To start, here is the first 'Fanmade' video. I don't believe Mr. Bungle released any vids, and if they did Warners hold on Youtube would get in the way, but ingenius fans have made their own.
This is for Pink Cigarette. It is an amazing song and the video is a work of art - kudos to the fan who made it. Very David Lynch-ish and just a perfect fit:
"How can I forget that your lips were there
Your kiss goes everywhere
Next up, another fanmade video for another brutally awesome song (my favourite Bungle song), Retrovertigo.
This video is bloody but brilliant. The song is haunting and gorgeous.
Please watch. It will leave you speechless. Especially at the 3-min mark - when Jesus comes in.
"Sell the rights
To your blight
And you'll eat"
I can't believe how devoted and talented Mr. Bungle fans are...love it.
And for a taste of more "Bungle-esque" weirdness (but genius) here is Mr. Bungle playing live another of my favs, The Air-conditioned Nightmare, at the aptly named Bizarre Festival- I am impressed at how well they are able to play this song live:
How can you not "Mbap bap bap mbap bap bap" bounce along to this song with Mike? So fun!!! Makes me wanna dance right now.
"Birds and faeries
Atop the rolling hills of Hell"
Well, like a f*ing weirdo, what else?
The tights, pants and jacket were all "circus" to me. The mask because Mr. Bungle used to play with clown masks on (in order to stay anonymous). The black lacey top was dark and the pink corset was retro. Pluto because he represents California. And he's cute. Just like Mike.
Silk pants + Jacket + Black Tank: Forever 21
Pink Latex Corset: Sex shop on Davie St.
Snakeskin Tights: Celeste Stein
Studded Heels: Jeffrey Campbell
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