Disco Volante

Mr. Bungle

Warner Brothers , 1995


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


So without a doubt, this is one of the weirdest records ever released by a major label in the ‘90s. The fact that frontman Mike Patton was also in Faith No More did not hurt in helping his side band and first major project get their own record deal. This, their second album, is a marked improvement over the scattershot debut and it points a good step in the right direction for the band. Still managing to cover everything from light jazz to full-on death metal, the band makes everything a bit more accessible while managing not to lose their overall sense of weirdness throughout the record.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Leading off with the classic death metal dirge “Everyone I Went To High School With Is Dead,” the band plays to their strengths. The song is legendary among people who never really fit in, who latched onto this song. On the other end of the spectrum is the epic “Carry Stress In The Jaw,” which is so amazing and awe-inspiring that it almost defies description. Veering all over the place musically and stylistically, it contains usage of an old Poe poem and then one of the greatest hidden tracks ever. Bassist Trevor Dunn discovered the band had recorded something without him and so he dubbed vocals over the top of it while doing his best Grandpa Abe Simpson impression; it works on so many different levels. Just listen to it and you’ll hear what I’m talking about.

The epic and lengthy multi-part “The Bends” shows how far the band have come in the four years since their debut. Musically, it’s definitely one of the most ambitious things the band has ever done. But the band has not forgotten their weird roots; songs like “Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz,” “Platypus” and the truly strange “After School Special” prove that the band still has their overall weirdness intact.

But the weirdness trophy goes to the final track “Merry Go Bye Bye,” which is one of the most amazing, incredible things to have ever graced a compact disc. Starting off as a decent pop song before exploding into fiery metal fury and then ending with a bizarre, almost Beefheart-esque hidden track, the song perfectly encapsulates everything Mr. Bungle was trying to capture with the entire record. This is the type of record to which all weird bands signed to major labels aspired.

Rating: A

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