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California CD

4.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Nov. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: LONDON RECORDS
  • ASIN: B00002ZZ1Z
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,115 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album is basically Mr. Bungle's finest album to date. The only way to describe it is as a homage to American music over the
20th century. An enormous amount of styles are blended seamlesly
together, lounge music, easy listening, Hawaian music, techno,
surf, rap, jazz and the list goes on. Unlike the two previous albums, the distorted electric guitar work of Trey Spruance is blended in to the pieces rather than being accentuated by it's nature. The effect of this is that, while Spruance may be playing what would sound like heavy rock riffs alone, the overall mood of the songs remain after he begins to play (e.g. None of them knew they were robots). As a result, the album will sound a lot less heavy than it actually is (I'd imagine some of these songs would sound quite differet live). Coherance is the key to this albums power, where it was the lack of which which hampered 'Disco Volante'. The degree of complexity on some of the instrumental arrangements is simply staggering and making this sound simple and texturally beutifull is an immense achievment in itself.
Although this album may sound less experimental than 'Disco Volante' the experimental nature of the band actually has not disappeared from Bungle's music, it is just the case that the band have learned to use this aspect to enhance the songs rather than including it for the sake of including it. Mike Patton displays some of his finest writing, which he may find difficult to better
in the future. The rest of the band are at least, if not more, involved with Dunn and Spruance playing a very large part. The lyrics are complex and thought-provoking, definately the finest the band has produced. Most of all however, the band still show a sense of humour, which has matured significantly since the messy
debut.
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Format: Audio CD
Bungle are of course no more now, but their legacy was three completely diverse pieces of work. From the ska-punk-metal crossover of the first album, to the bizarre death metal-clubland mess of Disco Volante, to this glorious exploration of the dark side of sun-kissed west-coast 50's and 60's teen culture. All the influences are here: the Beach Boys on "Air-conditioned Nightmare"; Chris Isaac on "Pink Cigarette"; 50's rockabilly on "None Of Them Knew They Were Robots"; Hawaiian pedal-steel and Phil Spector-esque production on "Sweet Charity"; Doo-wop on "Vanity Faire"...and yet all with Bungle's superb knack for giving them a new and surreal twist. As always, Patton's vocals are immaculate. And there are two genuinely brilliant pieces: the fusion of Greek-style ceremony and lyre with metal on "Ars Moriendi", and a fantastic power-pop ballad in "Retrovertigo", genuinely touching and presented with absolute respect to the form. Bungle went out on a massive high, and it's a great shame that they never worked together again, because, as this record demonstrates, they had so much individual and diverse innovative and creative talent, which somehow worked perfectly as a whole. Magnificent.
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By A Customer on 12 Nov. 1999
Format: Audio CD
It's unusual to find a band that make genre pastiches, without just parodying each genre hamfistedly, to make a comedy number. Sure, Mr Bungle's music is often funny, in a strange way, but it just seems more sincere than most loopy bands, who just throw mud at a leper and see what will stick.
Overall I found this album FAR more entertaining than Disco Volante, the band's second mainstream album. There is some beautiful gothic pop on there, "Pink Cigarette", "Sweet Charity", "Retrovertigo", but still, there're the epic reams of music, to wash your auditory palate clean of all the sports metal tripe floating on the oily surface of modern music these days. "Ars Moriendi" conjures up images of Greek weddings in limbo, and "None of them knew they were robots" is a superb, almost incomprehensible theme tune for the ultimate Tom and Jerry cartoon.
The album is EXTREMELY accessible. The theme is one of summer, and tourism, though the only summery element of it is a few seconds of seagulls at the start. After that it's straight in with horror, humour and eros through ballrooms, wine cellars, barren planets and scenes from "Metropolis".
In all, I'd recommend this album to anyone new to Bungle, and anyone who's read the reviews that came out with claws, saying that Mr Bungle had gone soft. They most certainly haven't.
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By A Customer on 31 Oct. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Mr. Bungle came a long way from their self titled first album to create this work of what I can only describe as genius. The mixture of styles, although about as varied as you can get, compliment each other wonderfully to create a beautiful album.
The highlights include 'The Air-Conditioned Nightmare', Beach Boys style surf rock twisted into something that somehow manages to be dark and upbeat at the same time, 'Pink Cigarette', a ballad about as black as they come, and the very funky 'Gollum II (the bionic vapour boy)'.
I first heard Mike Patton in Faith No More, but I feel this album surpasses their later work with ease. If you're a Mike Patton fan, you'll love this. If you're not, you will be by track three.
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