Year: 1986Genre: Thrash Metal/Experimental Rock
Label: Ladd-Frith Productions
Length: 35 Minutes
My Rating: 6/8
Mr. Bungle was the first (well-known, at least) band that Mike Patton (also in Faith No More & Fantomas) was in. The band started back in 1985, as part of a high school talent show where they mainly just dicked around (it's even on videotape!), but quickly they assumed more of a super-angry crossover-thrash style, and they would eventually become more of a goofy funk-metal group not too different from Faith No More itself, but in 1986 they released their first cassette-only album (with the green label), and let's hear it NOWWW...
1. Grizzly Adams
Warm and sad-sounding acoustic guitar instrumental tune, with a little lead off to the side (right), it's very calm-sounding, so let's jusst sit back and relax for a little while and bathe in the melancholy of it all... this is really really beautiful-sounding. Just when you least expect it, now, the song becomes extremely loud and metallic and more dangerous-sounding, but that doesn't last for very long...
2. Anarchy Up Your Anus
Starts off with a really loud angry-sounding riff with Mike reciting lines from the book "Snow White" in a calm voice. The song pauses and then speeds up. Wow, now I know why the Accused almost chose Mike Patton as their new vocalist! He really does sound just like Blaine Cook on this album! AN-AR-CHY upyouranus! The riffs are lightning-quick and sound just as much like a blender as musical instruments!
3. Spreading the Thighs of Death
Ooh, sounds sexy! This song starts off with a scream and the tempo is fast but not that fast. The song pauses and the other guitar which sounds really quiet can be heard playing, and then the song is really fucking fast, with Mike Patton's brutal vocals lighting the way in an otherwise directionless ever-changing muck of pure-y fury! Then there's one part with a bunch of squealing noises from the guitars and the band moaning and groaning in CONFUSION (is sex). GUITAR SOLO!! There's one relatively melodic part of the song around 3 1/2 minutes, but there's very little repetition in this song so it doesn't last long. Is it wrong that the name of this song somewhat gives me a boner?
This one sounds a bit more like plain old hardcore. Slow beginning, and then it gets real fast, and then I'm hearing a part of "La Cucaracha". Then there's a fucking ska section of the song, can you believe it? "We're hypocrites, but we're not hypocrites". Soon enough, the ska section ends for a repeat of the first two parts of the song. Totally awesome!! Then there's a really really cool Sabbath-esque guitar solo after that. It's really cool-soundin', man!
5. Bungle Grind
This song's absolutely awesome. All the riffs here fucking rule. It alternates between so many different parts it's not funny, and Mike's voice sounds like a cross between Roger Miret and Blaine Cook in this song. The verse riff meanwhile sounds so desperate yet energetic. It sounds so awesome when he belts out that line "Life... is a fucking... JAILLLL!!!!!". Then he tells us to 'do the Bungle Grind'. HOW to do it is not explained, however. The guitar just chugs along like a giant fucking steamroller. The drums are audible but very blurry so I can't comment much on how awesome those sound. End of Side A.
6. Raping Your Mind
LOUD, FAST, HEAVY, PISSED-OFF. Like a monster. Mash. Like a monster mash, kidz. They shred really fast!! It's like a jillion angry bumble-bees buzzing and stinging people all at once. Imagine that racket! Dissonant Melvins-like chord progressions punctuate the verse riffs. Then there's some crazy overblown solo-age going on.
7. Evil Satan
This one's a little more experimental and punk-sounding. There's a neat watery guitar sound and a bongo beat, but then the tempo changes and you hear Mike Patton rapping the lyrics here; the first instance of the vocal style he'd be more recognized for later. There's horns in here (being played by Mister Trey Spruance who wrote half of the songs for this record) also. Every now and then he sings in that angry brutal tone. Name an instrument, it was probably used in this song. Harmonicas, trumpets, kazoos, bongo drums, cymbals, etc.
8. Sudden Death
Blues-y tempo and a vicious tearing guitar riff. After a minute and a half, the song becomes very fast like you might expect! REALLY FUCKING FAST at some points. The great riffs just keep going. I like some of the clattering drum sounds, also. You hear Trevor doing some backing vocals with Mike at one part. At another point, you hear video game music (probably Nintendo) sychronized with the thrashing madness of the band's own music! I DUNNO I DUNNO. Hearing the vocal duties go back and forth between Mike and the rest of the band sounds very good. And it's totally the longest song on the tape, 'cuz it's just over 7 whole minutes long. And that's the end.
Well, that was fucking wild. Having heard "The Real Thing" by Faith No More where Mike Patton's voice sounds much cleaner, it's hard to believe he can pull off those sorts of screams and growls! And even though they were playing thrash metal here, the weird element is definitely already there, with the band willing to pull off any bonus trick in the hat to surprise you! It's really something else, it's super-angry and aggressive-sounding music but manages to keep a little weirdness and humor in there as well. The sound of the music is extremely lo-fi, probably recorded directly to cassette tape, but this album is not considered a demo, so the self-titled LP from 1991 is NOT the first Mr. Bungle album (much like people incorrectly label "God Ween Satan" as the first Ween album). They were only about my age (or close) when they recorded this, so this is really impressive. Things would get a little funkier for the band's music, they graduated high school, and Mike Patton's musical career has really taken off since this point. But even with that unconsidered, this album SERIOUSLY rocks, and if you like thrash metal bands with a punk edge like the Accused and Suicidal Tendencies, or even grindcore or death metal like Napalm Death, then DO check this out, man.
Top 3 Favorites:
1. Bungle Grind
3. Grizzly Adams
A REALLY EARLY MR. BUNGLE PERFORMANCE: