Sound — 8
Mr. Bungle have to be, in my opinion, one of the most unique bands ever to exist. I have never heard any band simply molest music like these guys do. It's uncanny. They rape a song of all of its likable qualities, yet they still are able to make it an enjoyable listening experience. Perhaps the band in it's wierdest stage of their already wierd career is evident in their 1995 sophomore release, Disco Volante. Being that Mr. Bungle is an avante-garde metal outfit, it is definately strange to see them take on musical stylings like techno, pop, jazz, and even surf music, but they pull it off regardless. The first song on this album that will immediately grab your attention has to be "Chemical Marriage." In this song, the unconventional music, obscure lyrics, and overall disbelief of how random the song is will leave you scratching your head. To be fair though, that's a great portion of the album anyway, so it prepares you. "Chemical Marriage", in my view sounds like a hellbound circus, riddled with vocal effects and a sound that kicks your ass for 3 minutes. "Backstrokin'" is another sweet number. This song is definately different; even for Mr. Bungle. It's an up-tempo song that segues into what appears to be surf-rock elements, which completely throws the listener in a different direction, yet again. Perhaps the most genius piece of music on this album is "Desert Search For Techno Allah." Here, guess what genre they take on next? Well, if you guessed techno, then you were right. In this song, they repeat a middle eastern chant, dubbed over some electronic samples and such, creating one of the freakiest songs ever recorded. All in all, the sounds are just amazingly strange and not everyone will enjoy it. However, if you stay open-minded throughout the entire thing, you'll begin to like it.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are not the band's strong point in my opinion, though your typical Bungle fan would tell you otherwise. Written mostly by guitarist Trey Spruance, Disco Volante is just a thrill ride lyrically that takes you in places you didn't know about. Some of the lyrics aren't in English, adding to the overall obscurity. Actually, in truth, some of the lyrics are so wierd, I honestly do not have a clue what they mean, so I don't think I should be so critical over them. I can say though that many vocal altering devices were inlcuded in Mike Patton's performances on the album, which were really sweet, as was the mini-epic "The Bends", which takes you on an underwater ride that you never want to leave. "The Bends" is probably the finest lyrics on the album, I will say that. The lyrics are cool I guess. Just from a more artistic perspective.
Overall Impression — 8
Of course, Disco Volante will always stand on its own, even among the albums of a group notorious for innovation, such as Mr. Bungle. Please note, this album is not for just anyone. Most will not be able to enjoy the uniqueness behind it, though I personally think it's one of the most brilliantly orchestrated pieces of art to hit shelves. It's so far ahead of its time, it should be illegal. My favorite song from this has to be "Desert Search For Techno Allah." It fascinates me so much. All of that being said, I think you should buy this album, though chances are you'll hate it.