Mr. Bungle are best known for two things: being quirky as all get out as well as being the first home to one of the last true original vocalists in Mike Patton, often better known for fronting some little band called Faith No More.
The lads in Mr. Bungle skirted around Patton’s extra curricular activities, managing to release three highly regarded, increasingly art driven albums throughout the 90s before deciding to take a rest in the early 2000s.
There was always rumours of a far heavier demo floating around from the late 80s when the band was still just a bunch of high school lads looking to soak up all of their musical influence and regurgitate it with little regard for just how it may turn out, with some rough tracks making it to the wonderland that is the internet as people dug up the buried treasure and decided that the world at large should perhaps hear it all once again.
Eventually the band decided it was time for these early tunes to get a proper airing live on stage with performances earlier this year only playing the Raging Wrath… material as well as a smattering of other material that never made it out of a rehearsal room. Adding weight to the thashier tracks the nucleus of the band (Mike on vocals, Trey Spruance/guitars and Trevor Dunn/bass) were joined by thrash royalty with Scott Ian and Dave Lombardo.
And now you should be up to date.
The album eases the listener into the onslaught behind Grizzly Adams, an instrumental track they figured they needed to write in their youth because their favourite bands all had intro tracks. From here on in it is all crossover thrash, all the time. This is not a version of Mr. Bungle that fans of their output throughout the 90s is going to swallow easy. Gone is the neck breaking musical turns and avant-garde selections. This time they are here to wreck your neck the old way, and they are pretty fucking good at it.
Anarchy Up Your Anus has a future classic title and with the help of Lombardo and Ian is a solid thrasher whose intensity is only built upon by follow up track Raping Your Mind. Hypocrites / Habla Espanol O Muere was originally a track that lent on ska, showing a glimpse towards the direction the band would eventually take throughout their original recording career. Here it drops the joke ska parts and instead fittingly takes a S.O.D. classic and flips the language barrier up to shine a glaring light on California’s multicultural aspects, throwing a middle finger at the hypocrites that are slathered in the first half of the track.
I should probably continue to gush over every track and how much I enjoyed this release over the far more artsy stuff the band is known for releasing (sacrilege amongst some of my closest, but fuck them, I like music that makes the blood pump more than the mind) but that would keep you all here reading wherever you’re hiding. Instead I will just instruct you to make sure you soak this album up on constant repeat for a few days. There are some longer tracks to digest such as Methematics and the brilliant Bungle Grind, that could possibly have been shaved down to keep the energy through the roof, although, on second thought that would have removed the biggest factor this band have always put forward. They are here to have fun, and that is writ large everywhere. You can hear grown men in their 50s living life large as they relive some of their personal favourite tunes and rejig them just enough to stay vital (extra points for the COC cover Loss For Words), all without giving a flying raging rabbit what the world en masse think of what they have bothered to do.
Turn this up as loud as your neighbours will let you, put on your favourite battle vest and start that mosh pit in your front yard that you have always wanted too. The Raging Wrath dares you.
1. Grizzly Adams
2. Anarchy Up Your Anus
3. Raping Your Mind
4. Hypocrites / Habla Espanol O Muere
5. Bungle Grind
8. Spreading the Thighs of Death
9. Loss For Words
10. Glutton for Punishment
11. Sudden Death