June 11, 2021 Mr. Bungle – The Night They Came Home (Album Review)
Some people figure out their life’s calling at a young age, pursuing dreams with extreme dedication, along with conviction. A great example of this is none other than Mike Patton who is most well known as the lead voice for the Alternative Rock band Faith No More. Gaining momentum and recognition with Faith No More, in 1985 he branched out to pursue another project called Mr. Bungle. One of the many Experimental Rock and Metal bands he created, many would argue Mike Patton is a musical genius.
Fast forward to 2021, and Mr. Bungle are back with another smashing collection of songs called The Night They Came Home. Set for release June 11, 2021 via Ipecac Recordings, this is a special collection taken from the band’s 2020 streaming concert which also includes some wild cover renditions.
Giving a brief history lesson, the 2021 version of Mr. Bungle came to fruition after a 20 year hiatus that subsided in 2020 for their live performances of “The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny,” plus a demo release. Members in this group joining in on the creative madness of Mike Patton are Trey Spruance on guitar/keys/backing vocals, Trevor Dunn on bass, Scott Ian of Anthrax on guitar/backing vocals, and Dave Lombardo of Slayer fame on drums, and the glockenspiel.
Upon first listen The Night They Came Home is easily identified as a Mr. Bungle project even though there is much diversity within all the albums and sound. Sometimes, it is unidentifiable as to what genre of music it is, but this one overall has an experimental Thrash, Death, Punk, Noise, Grind, fast and furious kind of vibe that fans will latch onto. Starting off the album is a cover of Mr. Rogers’ “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” This is just as expected as it is unexpected coming from the mind of Mike Patton, but for sure it hits the right chord for what is to come. Also, it comes with the Mike Patton guarantee that no one ever heard this song quite like this before.
After that number taken, why not follow up the sweet little tune called “Anarchy Up Your Anus.” A polar opposite, it very fun short and ferocious jam with a Death vocal/thrash guitar adventurous vibe. Raging onward, “Raping The Mind” is another intense track reminiscent of something Napalm Death might explore, but definitely reaching new levels of originality in the long run at over six minutes long.
Gaining momentum, there is also the “Bungle Grind” which is totally as it sounds with the punch in the face Thrash Grind jam, that even after seven minutes, never gets old. This immediately jumps into another heavy hitter entitled “Mathematics,” which is the longest tune on the album, but certainly not the dullest. On to a fun twist of back to back, all in one covers, the next cut combines Slayer’s “Hell Awaits” as an instrumental jam that somehow just smoothly transitions into a rendition of Seals & Croft’s “Summer Breeze.” Of course their is a bit of a comical twist up of lyrics in the middle of it too that can’t be ignored.
Moving on “Eracist” definitely creates a bold musical statement with lots of experimental nose that is not to be ignored. This is before the fun, short interlude of the Circle Jerks’ “World Up My Ass” and “Glutton For Punishment” which is quite possibly the most aggressive track of this album. Speaking of aggression, of all the people who could attempt to successfully cover an S.O.D. song Mike Patton is definitely capable. He proves this on “Hypocrites/Habla Español O Muere,” and then follows it up with the speedy “Spreading The Thighs Of Death.” Finally, concluding the 14 track album is a Van Halen cover of awesome proportions called “Loss Of Control.” As you might have already already guessed, this is a sure fire, spot on, wildly exciting attempt of the original. It doesn’t try to be anything other than what it wants to be. What it wants to be is a noble tribute to the late and great Eddie Van Halen with some Mr. Bungle style riffs.
For those who simply crave chaos, mayhem, aggression, and all things weird in a musical sense, The Night They Came Home is the album to purchase. From Show tunes to Death Metal, Mike Patton has the range for it all. He never disappoints, and he always puts his all into everything he cranks up to 11. That is why Cryptic Rock gladly give this new Mr. Bungle album 4.5 out of 5 stars.