David Browne
September 06, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Mr. Bungle

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
genre
Rock

We gave it a D-

Adjectives like puerile and unlistenable take on entirely new dimensions when applied to Mr. Bungle, the first album by this Bay Area band, which features singer Mike Patton (under the nom de rock of Vlad Drac) on furlough from Faith No More. Patton still whines and taunts like some snotty, obnoxious sixth-grader, only now to the accompaniment of Mr. Bungle’s heavy-handed, bungled attempt at blending metal with reggae, carnival music, and white-boy funk. The band’s idea of cutting-edge satire is writing witless lyrics like ”I wanna lock Betty Crocker in the kitchen/And knock her upper during supper” or-yuck yuck-mocking John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever 14 years after the movie’s release. By comparison, the bathroom humor of Frank Zappa (an obvious influence here) would be on par with Jonathan Swift. Mr. Bungle is meant to be clever musical satire, but the joke is entirely on Patton. D-

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