Saturday, October 08, 2005

Oh, An Egg Comes Out Of A Chicken

Mr. Bungle – Self Titled

So while wandering around the record store in search of something new and interesting to buy I found myself wishing there was a Mike Patton album I didn't already own, and then I realised there was a rather obvious canditate, the first Mr. Bungle album.

The reason I've left off buying this album for so long is because it just isn't quite as good as their later ones. While they still blend a number of diverse genres from metal to jazz, they don't go quite as far afield as they do on their later albums (there are no middle eastern or movie soundtrack styled songs for example), and as a result it is not as varied and unpredictable. But having said that it's still a pretty damn good listen.

Mr. Bungle are more of a joke band on this album than on the later ones, and while a lack of seriousness is never a recommendation in my book, Patton, Spruance and company make up for it quite a bit by actually being pretty funny. I searched the lyrics booklet for a couple of funny lines to quote, but there's nothing that stands well on it's own, most of the humour comes from the general context of the song. About the only bad things I can say about it are that it has a few too many long periods of quiet muttering and vomiting noises, and that it lacks the depth of their later albums.

This is a release from way back, 1991 to be precise, so it's one of Mike Patton's earliest releases. The disturbing (but also somehow humourous) subject matter of this album (including porn, sex with food, a dude who wants to shag his mum, and John Travolta) set the tone for much of the rest of his career as a lyricist.

While it's not as strong as Mr. Bungle's later albums, this one is a classic in some indefinable way that the others aren't. Maybe it's just that it was so original for its time, or maybe it's just that later on, while they grew in talent, their enthusiasm was diminished a little by their increasing fame (which is never good for a determinedly non-mainstream band like these guys).

No comments: