MR. BUNGLE — The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny (review)

MR. BUNGLE — The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny album cover Demo · 1986 · Thrash Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Something must have been in the air in 1980s Eureka, CA as several high school students got together to record a few demos that drew on all types of different styles and sounds and somehow despite all odds got discovered, got signed and unleashed three of the most eclectic and gracefully bizarre albums ever to hit the world. I speak of MR BUNGLE of course which in the beginning hadn’t quite gelled all their scattered ideas into the frolicsome and adamant masterpieces that would dot the 90s in the form of three completely original and unrelated album styles. Before those full length albums would emerge on a major record label nonetheless, Mike Patton, Trey Spruance and Trevor Dunn teamed up with early members Jed Watts, Martin Fosnaugh and Theobald Lengyel to create their very first demo (out of four) THE RAGING WRATH OF THE EASTER BUNNY.

Don’t expect the glissando genre juggling performances that caught the world’s attention on the three official albums. This demo displays a bunch of punk ass kids out to make noise with some serious attitude and that noise lies predominantly in the arena of 80s thrash / death metal with a particular nod to Slayer and early Death. While beginning with a beautiful classically oriented clean guitar arpeggiated sequence that serves as an intro it quickly changes into brutal crushing riffs on “Anarchy Up Your Anus” with lo-fi chugging riffs, an indistinguishable bass and Patton’s anarchic semi-rapped vocals screaming out in Red Hot Chili Peppers style death bellows. However even at this stage despite trying to be a “normal” type of extreme metal band with crushing riffage and sizzling guitar solos (on tracks like “Spreading The Thighs Of Death”) even before Morbid Angel gained prominence, these guys were clearly dreaming of another musical world in which they could promulgate outside the confines of established developing orthodoxies of the quickly gestating death metal world.

The first glimpse of things to come is on “Hypocrites” while churning out hardcore crust punk riffs, toys with counterintuitive melodies that jump into funk rock and add all kinds of instruments that fell outside the extreme punk and metal arenas such as kazoos, bongos and a trainwhistle. However while the ideas were aplenty, the marriage of these impulses hadn’t quite coagulated into digestible forms as the entire demo sounds slightly overambitious and highly unfocused even within the extreme metal aspects alone which more than obliterates any attempt to weave in the sax, harmonica, jew’s harp and Hawaiian nose humming that is almost impossible to discern. And i would be remiss not to mention the most underlying flaw of the entire project and that is indeed the famous production or should i say lack thereof that makes this sound fairly crude and amateurish. It should be remembered that these were just kids cranking out their visions in all youthful exuberance blissfully unaware of all the details that go into making a professional sounding recording with that underground attitude of FTW.

When all is said and done i would hardly recommend to anyone tracking this down and paying tons of money to find a physical copy. Although these types of things are usually reserved for the hardcore fans, i have to admit that despite being one of those hardcore enthusiasts of the cult of MR BUNGLE, i find little need to own this. This is indeed one of those worth hearing on YouTube just for the sake of historical context to trace the evolution of one of the most original bands of the 90s and how they would miraculously transmogrify into the musical circus clowns that they would become. On this substellar demo, they really offer very few clues as to point to their progressive quantum leap into the realms of “Disco Volante.” This one was only released on cassette and has never been re-released on any other format and i’m sure there’s a good reason for this as it is nothing more than a smattering of inchoate ideas in their primordial ooze swirling about in a petri dish.
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