Mr. Bungle Disco Volante Vinyl Lp

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Mr. Bungle: Mike Patton (vocals, organ, ocarina, sound effects); Trey "Uncooked Meat Prior To State Vector Collapse" Spruance (guitar, organ, keyboards, electronics, sound effects); Theo (E-flat reeds); Clinton McKinnon (clarinet, tenor saxophone, keyboards, drums); Trevor Roy Dunn (bass); I Quit (woodblock). Additional personnel: Lisandro Adrover (bandoneon); Graham Connah (piano); William Winant (cymbals, bongos, tablas, kanjira, sistrums, Jew's harp, percussion, xylophone, glockenspiel). Recorded at Brilliant Studios, Hyde Street Studios, Coast Recorders and Shotwell Bomb Factory, San Francisco; Mills College Concert Hall, Oakland, California. Taking cues from Frank Zappa, Carl Stalling and John Zorn, and dabbling in styles as disparate as lounge, death-metal and downtown jazz, Mr. Bungle create a schizophrenic sound unlike any '90s major-label band save for The Boredoms. Yet where The Boredoms approach their music from two specific sources (free jazz and punk), Mr. Bungle easily triple or quadruple that figure when listing their influences. As with other genre-bending progressive music, the obvious question is do they pull it off? On DISCO VOLANTE, they do quite nicely, thank you. Whether it is on the Middle East-inflected "Desert Search For Techno Allah," or on complex pieces like "The Bends," Mr. Bungle use hypnotic sounds, jarring noise and tight playing to convey their drug-soaked and semi-insane point of view to the world. The juxtaposition of styles works well--both from track to track (the extra heavy "Everyone I Went To School With Is Dead" is followed by the lounge jazz number, "Chemical Marriage") and within a single song ("Merry Go Bye Bye" leaps from a '50's rock sing-along to death-metal meltdown). Lyrically, Mr. Bungle piece together as many strange images as they do musically--"Carry Stress In The Jaw" quotes extensively from Edgar Allen Poe, while "Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz" seems to be written in a language all its own. Tough to listen to but rewarding, Mr. Bungle place themselves alongside groups like The Melvins, Praxis and Naked City, all trying to push the sonic envelope further out.