California Review

artist: mr bungle date: 10/16/2007 category: compact discs
mr bungle: California
Released: Jul 13, 1999
Genre: Rock
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Funk Metal, Alternative Metal, Experimental Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
As with any Mr. Bungle album, California requires at least a few listens to pull together.
 Sound: 9.7
 Lyrics: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 10
 Overall rating:
 9.6 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.7 
 Users rating:
 9.4 
 Votes:
 25 
reviews (3) 12 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
California Reviewed by: sexualrocket, on june 08, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Do you want something different? Something totally new? Something fun and creative? Get California. This album is wicked, cool and alot of fun. I can't really say what genre this really is. With Mike Patton in front California kicks off with Sweet Charity, a more normal song, with a california-ish sound. Very cool and smooth use of vocals. Then the real madness starts. None Of Them Knew They Were Robots is an amazing track with everything you need to smile and dance. The fun crazyiness is just really everywhere. It continues out the album with tracks like, Ars Moriendi, Air-Coniditioned Nightmare and Goodbye Sober Day. The fun craziness of bassist Trevor Dunn and singer Mike Patton is perfect for this album. // 10

Lyrics: Listen to "Golem 2: The Binoic Vapor Boy" and listen to all the crazy stuff Mike Patton do with his voice. He is maybe the coolest and best voal genious in this century. So for the lyrics and singer skills I have two words: Mike Patton. // 10

Overall Impression: It doesn't compare to anything! Except the two first Mr. Bungle albums. The first album was fun and funky, the second was crazy and wierd and fun. And this last one is a perfect mix of them both. I was so sad when I heard this was Mr Bungles last album! Standout tracks for me are None Of Them Knew They Were Robots, Golem 2: The Bionic Vapor Boy and Goodbye Sober Day. Buy this now and be surprised. I think everyone can like this album. It's very easy to like, but if you listen to it alot, it really reveals for you! // 10

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overall: 9.7
California Reviewed by: Tallman, on april 03, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: A veritable musical melting pot of ideas, Mr Bungles final album, is also their most accesible. Reference points here would be surf pop, jazz, rock, and an unmistakable element that can only be described as "Bungle-esque". Their habit of changing styles halfway through a song is much less apparent, and helps to compliment the song, adding an interesting dynamic, rather than being abrasive or irritating. The songs are catchy for the most part, especially The Air-Conditioned Nightmare, and the incredible Retrovertigo, the chorus of which will leave your jaw on the floor, and which leaves no doubts about Mike Pattons singing ability. // 10

Lyrics: Unusual lyrical ideas are the forte of Mr Patton, and he manages to write some incredibly thoughtful ones here. From the waking moments of a coma victim, to the final moments of a suicide victim, his scope and vocabulary are breathtaking. Mike Patton excels on this album, harmonising with himself perfectly, and alternating between chanting, crooning, and all out singing with such ease. // 9

Overall Impression: While it is much more "safe" than Mr Bungles previous work, it still manages to be incredibly forward thinking and different. It's a musical patchwork of ideas; a journey you'll want to repeat again and again; a lost classic, and the work of a band who, if they wished, could rule the musical world. Unfortunately, such genius cannot last forever, and the band who made it imploded from inter-band rivalries. Many bands today boast about being "genre-bending". Mr Bungle literally destroy genres, then rebuild them to suit their own purposes. If someone stole this, I would let them keep it and listen to it through once, before killing them. // 10

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overall: 9.3
California Reviewed by: reason49, on october 16, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Mr. Bungle is a special band. They are one of those bands that you either absolutely love or just "don't get". Their mix of the abstract, the absurd and the avant-garde is what sets them above other bands, but it's what also turns other listeners off. California is Mr. Bungle's last record, and also their most accessible. While their sound is generally more melodic, more focused and brighter than their previous albums, it is still far from anything that resembles your average music. Like their previous albums, musically, this album is all over the place in terms of genre. Songs jump from Romanian folk to metal and from du-wop to the just plain weird and everything in between. Also, like their past two albums, California is a showcase of amazing songwriting. Although Mr. Bungle's music is a sum that is greater than it's parts, the band contains some excellent musicians. The guitarist Trey Spruance is a great guitar player. Not only does he have the technical chops, but he can be a musical chameleon. Whatever genre the music turns to, his guitar licks sound authentic. He never overdoes it. Bassist Trevor Dunn's role of laying down the funk is not as prominent on this record, but his songwriting makes up for it. Drummer Danny Heifetz's contributions are especially more focused on this record, effectively keeping time and beat through some of the odd transitions. Dunn and Heifetz make a great rhythm section. California also has a good deal of orchestration, which makes for an album that is aesthetically pleasing and beautiful at times. // 9

Lyrics: Now is where I'm supposed to talk about the vocalist. Mike Patton is a great vocalist, and that's really all I have to say. On California, however, most of his vocals come through as Sinatra-esque. The vocals always fit with the music. A good deal of the songs have Patton contributing more than one vocal track, making for some great dual-harmonies. As for the lyrics, the lyrics are not only Patton's creation. Spruance, Dunn and Patton seem to take turns with lyrical duties, and this makes for lyrics that are interesting, and never repetitive. As with the music, almost nothing is conventional. // 9

Overall Impression: If you're interested so far, check out the tracks "Retrovertigo", "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare" or "Vanity Fair". Really, you could probably check out any track, because honestly, there is not a stinker on the entire album. I can easily say that California is one of my favorite albums of all time, and after repeated (and I do mean repeated) listens, the album never loses it's touch. This album is an absolute must-have if you're a fan of anything by Mike Patton, or if you are looking for something to break the monotonous cycle of today's music. The only downside that I can admit to is that the album only consists of ten tracks. However, although only at ten tracks, California will not leave you empty. After listening to the closer "Goodbye Sober Day", not only will you be left wanting more, but you'll feel the sad burn that this is Mr. Bungle's last album. Although the band is no more, most members continue their endeavors in other bands that are worth checking out, but before you check out anything else, you need to listen to this album. // 10

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