Thursday, 3 November 2011

Mr Bungle - California

Mr Bungle's fantastic opus. I'm sure I don't really need to introduce these guys but apparently I'm going to anyway.

Mr Bungle were sort of retroactively brought into the limelight after vocalist Mike Patton got the gig with Faith No More (after FNM guitarist Jim Martin heard Patton's vocal work on the Bungle demos no less). Although throughout their time together, Bungle had a few varying lineups, constant members Trey Spruance (guitar) and Trevor Dunn (bass) are amongst the names you'd probably recognise for their continued work in the alternative/jazz/world music/rock/metal/genre-hopping madness...uh, scene?

Speaking of their genre-hopping ways, this album is a lot less freeform than predecessor Disco Volante, and as such is many peoples' favourite Bungle album. Although the wildly varied influences are still present, they are much more reined in and integrated in the song structures, as opposed to Volante's tendency to erratically switch between them several times in one song. Impressive, but a bit too much for the casual listener, whereas in all honesty, you could probably play this album to your elderly white haired mother. Well, maybe.

The album is titled as such due to some beef with the Red Hot Chili Peppers (whose album Californication came out in 1999, the same year) due to Anthony Kiedis supposedly demanding Bungle be removed from several European festival lineups or he would take his band-shaped ball home back to LA and probably just have sex with some heroin or whatever. Turns out this childish move was due to the fact that he believed Bungle had ripped off the Chilis, despite actually running rings around them in terms of musical ability and composition. Compare your favourite RHCP song to 'Goodbye Sober Day' and try to come up with a valid reason why Patton and co shouldn't have got Kiedis' junkie ass dropped from festival season instead.


ZoSo))) said...

You fucking tell them, man. Fucking weak ass chili peppers.

Tony Maim said...

Great post Claypool. I have never really got into them - not because of any musical reservations but just finding the time.

However, now it is handed to me on a plate, so, here goes.

Claypool said...

Thanks d00ds, hope you enjoy 'em Tony, I nearly have as big an appreciation for Mike Patton as I do for Les Claypool haha.