ALBUM REVIEW: Mr. Bungle’s The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo

November 17, 2020 | By
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Mr. Bungle - The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo [Limited Edition Yearbook CD] | earwaxrecords

 

Mr. Bungle (Re)Does Thrash!

 

Mr. Bungle is not the first name that comes to mind when thinking about groundbreaking groups in alternative metal. You’re more likely to think of a Tool or a Rage Against The Machine; even Bungle frontman Mike Patton’s other group Faith No More is closer to being a household name than the group he started out with. 

What point does this make about their new 2020 album The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo? You tell me.

A group that you either love or have never heard of, Mr. Bungle has been pushing the envelope of metal music since their debut self-titled release on Warner Brothers Records. They are known for blending heavy rock music with elements of jazz, ska, funk, and disco (just to name a few of their influences). Patton’s vocals and lyrics convey a unique brand of zaniness that fans and critics have described as “weird”.

The band was effectively shelved after their late 2000 concert tour, supporting their California LP which was released a year earlier. Fans speculated on when and how a possible reunion might occur during the outfit’s nearly 20 year hiatus. In August of 2019, the silence was broken with the news of a slew of reunion shows. Presumptuous fans, myself included, expected to see Mr. Bungle bring some new material to the table, hopefully of the expectedly genre-bending variety.

Eyebrows raised in response to the addition of Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. Piquing further interest were the reported setlists and videos from the shows of the band primarily playing tunes from their first official demo, The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny. Then in March, it was finally announced via press release that Mr. Bungle would be re-recording the demo and a few bonus tracks to be released as their fourth studio album in 2020.

Now that it’s been out for a couple of weeks and the verdict is in, the question of whether or not the wait was worth it is perfectly valid. I would say the answer is yes, and anyone who disagrees is more than welcome to email me and arrange a meeting in a parking lot of their choice.

Most of the criticisms I’ve heard of the record thus far is simply lamentation about the band’s refusal to return to the more avant-garde sounds of their Warner Brothers albums. Patton himself proactively responded to these criticisms in an interview with comedian Eric Andre on the eve of the record’s release.

When Andre asked about the band reverting to their high school era compositions instead of moving on to something new, Patton told him that the members said to themselves that they were ‘gonna re-record and put out s***t… that nobody’s ever heard’.

This might have been a stretch, given the fact that the demo had been in internet circulation since internet circulation first became a thing. On the other hand, The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo does in a sense take on a new life as a reworked double LP. Where the original tape featured a Mr. Bungle in its artistic infancy, the 2020 version has been blessed by a group with over 30 more years of experience.

The Raging Wrath in turn is a project that is adolescent in conception, while simultaneously being a masterclass in execution. I can’t help but think of this record being something like what would have happened if the members of Buffalo Springfield got back together in the eighties and re-did their self titled debut. The parallel here being that both bands were and are undisputedly supergroups before their time; for those who didn’t catch it.

It truly is worthwhile to hear Patton and co. returning to their roots and capturing the same ignorance they exhibited in their adolescence, albeit in a much more aged and sophisticated manner. The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo is the perfect record to blast in the back of class while carving ‘666’ into your desk. You have Mr. Eric Andre to thank for that candid imagery.

 

Listen to The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo on Spotify or Apple Music

 

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