What is there to say about Mr. Bungle that has not already been said? Mike Patton’s pet project is a bonkers, eclectic, musical maelstrom of invention and fury that can – depending on their leader’s mood – either be a carnival rock extravaganza or collapse into weird-for-weird-sake chaos. Sometimes the balance of any given release can seesaw precariously between both poles – leaving the listener holding their heads in abject confusion, wondering where the hell to begin.
Often – half the fun of a Mr. Bungle release is negotiating the vast swings in mood, genre and creative release – the other half is a deep-seeded frustration that no album or release is designed to be an easy, challenge free listen. However, every single thing that the band has released has been full to the brim with invention, chaotic energy that is seeped through the songs to its very core, and absolutely designed to attack the soft fleshy bits of your jugular without mercy.
The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo is absolutely no exception. With blast beat drums being growled over by Patton’s trademarked vocal exuberance, the entire album is a ferocious creative tour-de-force that allows every member to showcase their ridiculous talents and dips its toe into genres as varied as thrash, hair metal and – occasionally – death metal. It lurches with such wanton abandon that you are left dizzy and reeling by track three – “Raping Your Mind” – that the band still has such energetic fervour to serve up in spades after so many years.
Mr.Bungle do not care if you like them. They have no fucks to give if you think they are good or not. They are a rare beast that exists to entertain themselves first and foremost and if others dig it then all the better. This album is a harking back to the mid-Eighties thrash gutters of LA and San Francisco, swerving between early Slayer-like riffage and Metallica’s impeccable sense of melody and harmony. Patton, as ever, is on haunting form and the entire album is delivered like a mugger kicking you square in the nuts. Taking no prisoners, no one left alive, just a full-scale riot in a plush fun house where everyone is a victim and the band laugh about the damage that they caused all the way to the pub.
Prepare to headbang. Prepare the mosh. The eighties never ended y’all. Mr. Bungle just reinvigorated the thrash scene and have brought a dying genre back from the brink of extinction… and they did it without ever breaking a sweat. God, you just love to see it.