The Rocket Issue December 1995
Disco Volante - Mr.Bungle
by A. Rose
Throwing a twist of the cocktail revolution into their ever-so-noodly funk-prog highball, Mr. Bungle foist another hour of sheer sonic inanity upon us. Bungle's last album drove me crazy. Their free-jazz spazzes and heavy metal thrashes were so completely over the top and wank-o-rific that I wondered whether they had actually spent any time listening to it. I mean, isn't the point of purchasing a CD to be able to luxuriate in its greatness? It's as if Bungle wanted to expose the obsessive throngs of Faith No More fans to all of their favorite artists all at once -- as performed by themselves.
On Disco Volante, their twisted dada ethic blasts at full force. This time the boys are exposing the kids to something different. From beginning to end the influences roll freely. "Chemical Marriage" meshes loungy keyboards a la Arthur Lyman with Bungle's trademark frenetic creepiness. The nine-minute epic "Carry Stress in the Jaw" reckons back to the wank of yesteryear wtih a a journey through the land of Faxed Head, The Boredoms, Astor Piazzolla, and Mel Brooks -- I still can't get those "constipated grandpa" vocals out of my brain. Even though this album is eminently more listenable than the last, it still has that Mr. Bungle brand of hyperactive musical masturbation all over it.
There are actually quite a few stellar moments on Disco Volante. The problem is that Mr. Bungle have nothing of their own to exhibit. They have become a skilled musical and cultural food processor for those unaware or unwilling to explore dusty and decrepit record shacks in the middle of nowhere.
Thanks to Star Leigh Wall