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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Sweet Charity|
|2. None Of Them Knew They Were Robots|
|4. The Air-Conditioned Nightmare|
|5. Ars Moriendi|
|6. Pink Cigarette|
|7. Golem II: The Bionic Vapour Boy|
|8. The Holy Filament|
|9. Vanity Fair|
|10. Goodby Sober Day|
Wildly warped and ingeniously intriguing, Mr. Bungle's third album is evidence of a rock band pretendiing to have roots in rock music. California explores an ambiance new to Mr. Bungle, conjuring up the sultry dance moves of Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire; digging through the graveyard of riffs to find English Pop, Elvis, Neil Diamond and Michael Jackson. More meticulously orchestrated, more guided by mistake than their previous releases, California proves that Mr. Bungle cannot escape it's twisted past or twisted future.
Nobody ever accused Mr. Bungle of being suckers for a good melody. The syncopated blasts of cartoonish noise that fill 1991's Mr. Bungle and 1995's Disco Volante are one part speed metal and one part Speedy Gonzalez. Initially, the band served as a more aggressive outlet for singer Mike Patton, widely known for his work in Faith No More. But with Faith No More no more, Patton and Mr. Bungle decided to sweeten the Bungle batter with a little songcraft. California boasts harmonies (yes, harmonies!) that would make the Brothers Wilson proud. Opening with a chorus of seagulls and crashing waves that gives way to slide guitar, strings, and Patton singing (not screaming), the poppy yet symphonic "Sweet Charity" announces that this is not your bike messenger's Mr. Bungle album. Songs like the easy strummin' "Retrovertigo," the sultry Scott Walker-esque "Pink Cigarette," and the orchestral "Vanity Fair" make California 1999's golden-hair surprise. --Bill Crandall
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Top Customer Reviews
In the great tradition of frank zappa, bungle has proved itself as master of parody, in the best way. this album perfectly distills the california landscape. it's a brilliantly dark and sinister parody of both western and eastern music, achieving a level of unparalleled terror through bizarre and often comical soundscapes. dark lyrical content mixed with earnest and sometimes wacked out takes on differnt genres create a sense of maniacal forboding.
the album tackles all sorts of out-of character styles, ranging from doowop, surf, klezmer, polka, rat-pack swing, lounge and tons of others. the arrangements are remarkably mature and involved. but the unique thing about California is not only the superb songcraft, but the way the songs are attacked.
the thing that struck me most was how western and eastern music were mixed. both styles of music are fused expertly in songs like the air-conditioned nightmare, playing a middle eastern melody over a surf rock beat, and ars moriendi, blending european klezmer with middle eastern sound. its mind boggling.
the general parody of surf rock pops up on the first track and also on the air conditioned nightmare, fitting all manner of surf, from dick dale to beach boys to the surfaris, all in one song. howver, it transforms into a paranoid portrait of insanity, surrounded by pop culture, a mind going insane with the tv on.Read more ›
The album begins with "Sweet Charity" - a sound so unfashionable it is painfully refreshing - and then suddenly delves into "None of Them Knew They Were Robots", which is so varying it balks discription. Following is easily the most mainstream song Mr. Bungle (McKinnock) ever produced, it has shades of Karma Police but probably more enterprise, going from a soft lilt to fulfilling rock before reaching it's crecendo and failing beautyfully. All the while though, it never loses it's agonising poignancy. Truely a masterpiece of construction accentuated by Patton's powerfull vocal timbre.
From there it's a wave of differing sounds, some that are Rorschach like in their individual appreciation. Rather than go on describing them, you can only understand by hearing them. I'm going to be blunt: buy the album if you love music and want refresment from the dull monotony of other bands. It defies regret, except through the lack of a follow up.
Mike, please make another!!
For those who dislike gangsta rap and repetitive pop music, Mr. Bungle present "California", a most accomplished and consistently satisfying listen. A true classic in terms of the scope of the songs; complimentary STYLES of music are worked into the arrangements. The lounge beach feeling of 'Sweet Charity' recedes and an elevator music interlude is launched via bass into a hawaiian chill-out moment that segues back into the verse; the next track 'None Of Them Knew...' is an epic swingin' big band number that explodes into thrash passages and quiets into brooding jazzy exchanges- all accompanied by amusing sound effects. There's even a rockabilly guitar solo!
These are just the first two songs. Everything here shines briefly before being shoved aside by the next idea. There is no other record like this anywhere. Flawless and underrated at five stars. I will now only offer the cliched 'bravo'.
Most recent customer reviews
Great tunes, horrible production on the Plain Records mastering - Sounds like it was ripped directly from a CD! Read morePublished 23 months ago by FP
All tracks are good on this CD, but especially "Pink Cigarrete" rocks! Other top songs on this CD are None Of Them Knew They Were Robots and Ars Moriendi.Published on May 29 2014 by Ivo Pontes
"California" is more refined than the bands previous two efforts, "Mister Bungle" and "Disco Volante". Read morePublished on June 27 2004 by ZL
When I first placed this CD into my player, I wasn't sure what to expect. Right off the bat, I was amazed to hear what sounded like a typical Hawaiian beach song, something I never... Read morePublished on May 7 2004
And of course it is. These are the kind of musicians that only get better and better. Because it is about the music. Read morePublished on April 22 2004 by stu
I can give no higher praise for this album than to indicate it is currently my all-time favorite album. Why?, you ask - because it's brilliant, and is thus far the pinnacle of Mr. Read morePublished on April 5 2004
The first time I heard Disco Volante, I thought the exploit would never be repeated. I was wrong. California has become my favorite Bungle record. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2004 by F. Murray