Avant-garde metal martyr’s Mr. Bungle released the best thrash metal album of 1986 on October 30, 2020. Possibly one the best things to come out of what would end up becoming such a hellish year. Of course I’m referring to Bungle’s fourth studio album, The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo. A demo most have never heard, and one I thought would never be legitimately re-recorded and released as an album. Eureka!
This album is fucking awesome. Beautiful and brutal. That’s about all I can say. It’s a true soundtrack for the times, particularly in the US, but also for the world’s chaos at large. With legends like Mike Patton, Scott Ian, Dave Lombardo, Trevor Dunn, and Trey Spruance, how can Mr. Bungle go wrong?!? They can’t. Anyway, in this album review Hazy Eye Music Media’s contributor Joseph Strand reviews The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo by Mr. Bungle. Continue reading below for Joseph’s full album review.
It wasn’t long ago that I found myself scouring internet forums for anyone who might have an original cassette copy of The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo, Mr. Bungle’s original demo produced in 1986. My growing appetite for something new from Bungle had been ongoing for the better part of a decade. I decided not to get too excited. After all, it had been two decades since they released their eclectic album California in 1999.
Then out of nowhere, near the end of 2019 I received a notification that the band was re-forming and planning some exclusive reunion shows and releasing The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo on vinyl. Holy shit! As fate would have it I was not able to attend the show in Brooklyn that I had barely managed to purchase tickets for. And my pre-order for a vinyl copy of the album with that hellish jackalope on the front cover had mysteriously been canceled. This album was starting to haunt me. I felt bungled. Then one morning in February 2020 I woke up to discover the new release of the album on my phone, with no recollection of downloading it. And no proof of purchase to suggest otherwise. Strange.
The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo is an interesting release all around. It’s not an evolution forward as most bands might pursue in some sense, but rather an oddly self-fulfilling prophecy in reverse. The album is raw and visceral. It’s honest. And it doesn’t care about your feelings!
I’ve never known a grey zone with Mike Patton’s work. Fans love him. With such a wide variety of ethnic influence, fearless experimentation, and bi-polar shifts in genre, there is a lot to chew on when exploring Patton’s catalog. Still for me, Mr. Bungle remains a sweet spot in that catalog. The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny has made that sweet spot a little sweeter.
There’s nothing like shimmering beauty to usher you into chaos. Ode to the album’s opener “Grizzly Adams.” The song “Hypocrites/Habla Espanol O Muere” is one I like to play most, particularly for my racist neighbors. While they’re pounding on the wall, I’m daydreaming of driving a 67’ Pontiac Tempest into Tijuana to its homage to the classic “La Cucaracha.” The songs on the album paint a variety of scenes and scenarios in my mind.
Overall the metal tones throughout this generous 11 song offering are quite clean and vast. The album is fast and heavy, yet easy on my ears. Some of the material harkens back to thrash metal of the 80’s, but Mr. Bungle are in a league of their own. The “Big 4” of thrash metal need to make room for a fifth band now. Songs on the album that standout include “Anarchy Up Your Anus,” “Raping Your Mind,”Eracist,” “Spreading the Thighs of Death,” and “Sudden Death.”
The music videos from The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo accompany the music quite well. All I can think of when watching the freakish music video for the song “Eracist” are the words “American Nightmare.” It plays like the perfect metaphor of a tortured sado-masochistic nation wanting desperately to forget itself and losing all of its beauty in it’s inability to forget. A very Bungular music video full of found footage and a nightmarish character whose face will put your darkest nightmare to shame. Bungle video’s for songs “Raping Your Mind” and “Sudden Death” are equally artsy and disturbing.
If you can just allow yourself to descend into this band’s hellbent world for just 57 minutes, you may just find your true purpose in life, once you’ve survived the onslaught of its uroboric wrath. If you prefer a lighter mood, just don’t listen to this alone, after midnight, or while sober. And be warned, should you choose to look away completely, you may just wake up one day like I did, and find it mysteriously downloaded to your phone. We are definitely living in strange times. And sometimes strange times call for strong melodies. Well done, Mr. Bungle. Well done.
Don’t be a damn fool! Order yourself a copy of The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo. Shit. Order one for a friend too! You surely won’t regret it. Go check out the Official Mr. Bungle Website for a copy of their new album and to fulfill all your other Bungle needs.
Stream The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo by Mr. Bungle on Spotify: