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Mr. Bungle


Impossible to pigeonhole for more than a minute at a time, Mr. Bungle have marched an inspired path of lunacy for the past 15 years. They've evolved from mask-wearing Death Metal-ers to the genre-jumping, largely studio-based band they are now, their music growing increasingly more elaborate in the process. Yet certain characteristics have remained consistent, chief among them a dark sense of humor and a knack for skillfully borrowing/rearranging elements from diverse sources (Ennio Morricone, the Beach Boys, Slayer, Perrey-Kingsley). Their 1991 debut, often tagged as "Funk Metal," reaches a level of circus-esque pipe organ-drenched sickness quite different from the genre's currently popular strains. The subsequent Disco Volante, however, defies categorization, moving even further from traditional songwriting territory as it shifts violently between sections of Bop-ish jazz, Melvins-esque sludge, Lounge, Metal, and flat-out Noise. 1999's California again surprised listeners with its sunny pop approach, meanwhile retaining the expected levels of warped inventiveness and leaving fans asking, "What's next?"

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