One of the world’s most confounding, infuriating, surprising, astounding, and frightening bands have returned. Yep, Mr. Bungle are back. Did they ever really go away? Opinions vary greatly. Put together way back in 1986 in Humboldt County, CA by three voracious teenagers with already burgeoning but as yet unrealised talent between them; Mike Patton (vocals), Trey Spruance (lead guitar) and Trevor Dunn (bass) remain at the core of the band to this day.
Mr. Bungle have always embraced metal in some way, shape or form across their previous three albums, whether it was a whole song or passing phrases and passages in the maelstrom of another. The new album sees the band returning, full-bore to their very early days; where the original Raging Wrath… demo was a raw, abrasive, belligerent thrash stomp, this is a decidedly more polished affair, but loses none, repeat, absolutely none of the aggression. The current iteration of the band now includes metal’s finest rhythm guitarist, Scott Ian, and the God of Thunder himself, Dave Lombardo. You’ll likely know them from Anthrax and Slayer, respectively. Looking at this line up, it doesn’t encourage thoughts of delicacy, introspection, jazz noodling and you’d be correct in that assumption.
Opener ‘Grizzly Adams’ aside, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo is a collection of muscular, aggressive, potent, riff-heavy songs played with enough fury and venom to take your breath away. Even the length of the songs (at least half of them around the six or seven-minute mark) is a surprise given the intensity with which they are played. I could go on for days, it’s that good.
As ever, forget anything you’ve heard by Mr. Bungle; the terrifying weirdness of the first album, the out-there in-jokes of Disco Volante or the jarring, yet smooth sounds of California. Play these albums back to back and you’d be hard pushed to believe this was the same band.
Conclusion? Four albums. Thirty plus years. Still amazing. You need this album.
The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo is out on October 30th on Ipecac Recordings and can be ordered here.
Words: Scott Crawford