Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mr. Bungle – California

Some music is made to be beautiful.  It can ease your mind with luscious vocal harmonies and arrangements.  Some music is made to be brutal.  It tears at your sanity with hellish growls and bone crushing heaviness.  Some music…well, some music is just plain weird.  It takes the listener on a journey through unfamiliar musical landscapes and expects them to keep up.  Mr. Bungle’s California manages to combine these three types of music in one unforgettable package.

Do you ever find yourself believing that no one on the planet could be as strange or eccentric as you?  Trust me when I say that listening to this album will quickly lay those fears to rest.  This band is not composed of mere musicians.  No, no, no.  Each member is a mad scientist who takes great delight in molding all of their musical influences into songs that resemble Frankenstein monsters.  Yes they can be frightening at first glance, but if you take the time to get to know them you will have friends for life.

The rollercoaster ride begins with “Sweet Charity”, a joyous song exuding sunshine and cheer complete with sound effects mimicking noises from the beach and bombastic vocal choruses.  From there the tempo picks up substantially for a song called “None of Them Knew They Were Robots” which is especially notable for
its combination of heavy metal riffing and intricate jazzy passages.  “Retrovertigo” changes course one hundred and eighty degrees, soothing the listener with music resembling a lullaby complete with notes from what sounds like an infant’s toy xylophone.  The end of the song brings the energy level back up perfectly leading into “The Air-Conditioned Nightmare”, a song which would not sound at all out of place in a vintage beach bunny movie from decades past.

I could go on and describe the other songs but that would ruin the surprises this album has in store for the listener.  Besides, I would run out of adjectives before describing the closing track.  Rest assured each song is
stylistically quite different from each other, yet in the end fit together to form a beautiful whole.  You won’t have any idea where the band is taking you, but the trip sure is a blast from start to finish.  Chances are once you’ve finished, you might just jump back in line to start the rollercoaster ride again.

 --Penfold




1 comment:

Cicatriz said...

This makes me want to take "the coaster" for another spin!!

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