Rating:
9.6
Mr. Bungle - California
13 June 1999


01. Sweet Charity
02. None Of Them Knew They Were Robots
03. Retrovertigo
04. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare
05. Ars Moriendi
06. Pink Cigarette
07. Golem II: The Bionic Vapour Boy
08. The Holy Filament
09. Vanity Fair
10. Goodbye Sober Day


Welcome to the world of Mr. Bungle! Get out those sandals! Women and children, don't forget your bonnets! And keep your dancing shoes nearby for the soiree! This is California!

Mr. Bungle's swansong lulls you in ever so gently with the lapping of waves on the shore and the call of seagulls. Picturesque images of sun drenched beaches and palms will fleetingly waver before your eyes. Atmospheres are masterfully crafted by eccentric instrumentation. But by the prickly provocation of thy literary affluence, fuck ALL of that. This record blends its sounds so well that only the cover art and your mind will serve as your defense. Yes, defense. Don't be a fool. Tune in, set aside the shrieks and growls, and read the fucking lyrics.

These very wise lyrics were penned, surprisingly, by multiple band members.

Saying that the lyrics "put things into perspective" would be an injustice. Saying that the lyrics are aimed directly at your vile, dark self would be on point. But saying that California's lyrics settle upon your brain, lingering smugly and translucently; to be carried into your everyday life with poignant and barbed intention, is irrevocable.

It takes you to a diner. Or to a drive-up restaurant. Or to a pharmacy that sells milkshakes; essentially, taking you to an innocent, decent, and upstanding environment. This, to wistfully suggest that there's more that we could be doing with our precious time. Like making a contribution to the sun that so fortunately shines on our shoulders.

Yes "Sweet Charity" is an unforgettable song, and yes "None Of Them Knew They Were Robots" is catchy as hell, and yes, "Retrovertigo" is an astronomical ballad. The beauty, however, is in the subtleties. Subtlety, to an album that is as powerful and cathartic as it is graceful.

It is a legitimate classic album, in every way imaginable.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 10


 


written by Nosurper | 08.06.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Paradox0 - 08.06.2012 at 23:17  
What a peculiar review for an awesomely weird band. I'm kind of curious what you think of songs such as Ars Morielli and Golem II, my favorite tracks off of the album.
Nosurper - 08.06.2012 at 23:49  
Written by Paradox0 on 08.06.2012 at 23:17

What a peculiar review for an awesomely weird band. I'm kind of curious what you think of songs such as Ars Morielli and Golem II, my favorite tracks off of the album.


Ars Morielli I image corruption and skeletons dancing remorslessly over the graves of better men. Golem II is as you mentioned, peculiar to me. Bubbly and charming.
Nosurper - 03.04.2013 at 05:09  
Written by Paradox0 on 08.06.2012 at 23:17

What a peculiar review for an awesomely weird band. I'm kind of curious what you think of songs such as Ars Morielli and Golem II, my favorite tracks off of the album.


So my altered take on Ars Moriendi and Golem II after enjoying this album tonight:
Ars Moriendi - Up-fucking-tempo! About someone that revels in someones past. I personally associate this with fans of dead famous figures. I doubt this is accurate, but if it is this song captures a type of frenzy that could be associated with fanaticism.

Golem II - It's a bubbly song. One thing that is clear is that there is a fixation with robots on this album. This may be less compelling than my take on Ars Moriendi, but from what I can muster this is a song about the robotic presence of our esteemed political leaders.

I'll always be left guessing. Butcha know, cryptic is just fine.

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