Midnight on Halloween, Pacific Standard Time, online audiences around the world were treated to a sort of homecoming. Eureka’s reigning champions of outré tunes and wild musical theatrics for three and a half decades, Mr. Bungle streamed a live concert in celebration of its newest record, The Raging Wrath of
the Easter Bunny, which was released on singer Mike Patton’s Ipecac Records
the day before. And if you didn't catch it on Halloween, the show is streaming until midnight Tuesday at www.mrbungle.live ($15).
A nostalgic shot from the preview for Mr. Bungle's The Night They Came Home.
Rather than being an album of new material, Raging Wrath is instead a re-recording of the band’s infamous demo, which was made when the bandmembers were still high school students. Joining OG members Trey Spruance (guitars), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Patton are two alums of the Big Four of the thrash metal era: drummer Dave Lombardo from Slayer and Anthrax’s infamous rhythm ax-weilder Scott Ian. These two have proved to be a good choice, as unlike other records in the Bungle canon, this record is pure thrash metal bliss, with just a little greasy patina of the jump rope genre dysplasia of the band’s more famous work.
The show was titled The Night They Came Home, which likely refers to the
alleged venue for the performance, the main branch of the Eureka Public
Library. I say alleged because there’s really no way confirm this location by
simply watching the concert and there are several jump cuts and humorous cameos of supposed audience members — including famous musician coevals Henry Rollins, David Yow, Josh Homme and King Buzzo — which make the whole show feel much more like a soundstage production. This isn’t meant to detract from the performance at all, which I found exciting and oddly touching. It’s more a nod to the impressive level of seemingly effortless production put into the
If you are a Mr. Bungle fan from the old days who is hoping to hear some of the
“hits”( for lack of a better word), I’ve got bad news for you. This is a night
of thrash and a celebration of the much dubbed and traded tape demo from 1985,
so unless you are familiar with that messy gem, any desire for some nostalgic
oldies from the catalog will be snubbed out by more than 90 minutes of assault. But what a glorious assault it is! Opening the evening is the famous vibe-killing
comedy styling of Greg Turkington as his alter ego Neil Hamburger, whose drink
spilling and loogie snorting anti-jokes sound even more glorious without an
audience. (The opener was “What did one toilet say to the other toilet? Let’s
call our band KISS.” And it only got worse from there.) Before long, the boys
came out and performed a scatalogical set of absolute throat shredders, with
Coolio-braided singer Patton growling and shrieking out the words to tunes with
names like “Anarchy Up Your Anus,” “Spreading the Thighs of Death” and
And let’s not forget the covers. The encore was a lovely tribute to the recently deceased Eddie Van Halen with the double punch of “Tora Tora/ Loss of
Control,” while punk and thrash tracks by The Circle Jerks, early C.O.C.,
Slayer and S.O.D., littered the night like brilliant shards of windshield glass.
There was even a beautiful cover of “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts which
came out of an all-instrumental shred of “Hell Awaits,” which got a filthy
lyric switcheroo by Mr. Patton.
If this is not enough Bungle, or you want to pre-game streaming the show, you can listen to Myles Cochrane interviewing Dunn on Humboldt Last Week: