Mr. Bungle “Disco Volante” (1995)

Mr. Bungle’s “Disco Volante” is a sophisticated collage of popular music genres. The primary difference between “Disco Volante” and its self-titled predecessor is the overall tone. If the debut was a facetious celebration of depravity, the second is extremely dark, convoluted, and comparatively introspective.

The songs are bereft of overt form or order, organized loosely into self-contained sections, each one a piece of madness unto itself. Where else in the mid 1990s but a Bungle or John Zorn piece could you hear frenetic bebop fully integrated into raging death metal mayhem? Or lounge taking it easy next to Warner Bros. style cartoon music, with a dash of hardcore punk and klezmer thrown in for good measure?

If the the density of each song is staggering,the lyrics are hilarious, with extremely dark subject matter malevolently imposed on satirically banal music. Mike Patton growls, croons, intones, screams and beautifully sings. On the pseudo-Italian collage, “Violenza Domestica” Patton’s voice dances between romantic whispers, a paranoid accusatory tone and full-on shouting. The whole thing provides a depressingly interesting simulation of, you guessed it, domestic violence.

Disco Volante is the dark heart of Mr. Bungle’s discography, a dreadful, dissonant note sounding out between the comic shtick of the first album and the poppy refinement of the third. It both lampoons and celebrates the genres it exploits, with compositions that are more film-like and visual than conventionally musical. Unpredictable and complex to the extreme, the album is one very wild, very nightmarish experience.

Note: this review is edited and considerably reworked from the original, which can be found at

-James Slone


Release:  1995
Label:  Warner Brothers
Avantgenre:  Soundtrack From A Banned Exploitation Film
Duration:  68:37
Origin:  United States
Official site:  None
Review online since:  20.09.2007 / 00:26:32


01 – Everyone I Went With High School With Is Dead
02 – Chemical Marriage
03 – Sleep (Part II): Carry Stress In The Jaw
04 – Desert Search For Techno Allah
05 – Violenza Domestica
06 – After School Special
07 – Sleep (Part III):Phlegmatics
08 – Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz
09 – The Bends
10 – Backstrokin’
11 – Platypus
12 – Merry Go Bye Bye

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