In celebration of their return to grace and newest release in 20 years, avant-metal darlings Mr. Bungle have put on a spectacularly shot and well-executed live performance entitled The Night He Came Home, playing through their debut release, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo (1986), written and recorded when the members were still in high school. Playing at their childhood library, Mr. Bungle, which comprises of original members Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn and Trey Spruance, as well as new additions Scott Ian (Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death), and Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies) on guitar and drums, respectively.
The overall thoroughly entertaining and engaging live virtual stream makes light of the fact that there is no audience, yet this doesn’t take away from the aesthetic and feel of the show. After some camerawork following around Mike Patton getting his hair done, and some quick interviews, Neil Hamburger opens with a brief set of his dead-pan, dry humor full of music references, ranging from Britney Spears, Aerosmith and even Mr. Bungle themselves.
Any Bungle aficionado who kept up with the bands’ 2019 reunion would notice that the set list and general presentation has not changed much, starting with their cover of Mr. Roger’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” interjected with thrash chord stabs, followed by the second and third tracks “Anarchy Up Your Anus,” and “Raping Your Mind,” from their newly released The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo. Mr. Bungle play through the entirety of the release, which does differ from the original 1986 release, featuring a Stormtroopers of Death cover (“Speak English or Die”), as well as a Corrosion of Conformity one (“Loss For Words”).
With thrash and skate-punk obviously being two major influences for the band both as teens and now, this is exemplified with some even more covers that are given that distinctly tight but heavy treatment by the Bungle boys, including the instrumental intro to Circle Jerk’s “World Up My Ass” and Slayer’s “Hell Awaits,” which goes into the ’70s yacht rock classic “Summer Breeze” by Seals and Croft, featuring some rather promiscuous lyrical alterations. Even so, this thrash sound featured on covers or not is presented rather tightly, both on and off the record. The almost nine-minute “Methamatics” features more of their thrash tendencies while also hinting at the snazzy genre-warping style that defines Mr. Bungle, while a song like “Eracist” is simply straightforward thrash classic hardcore.
With plenty of celebrity cameos, awkward stage bantering and Adult-Swim style aesthetic, Mr. Bungle keep the live concert experience fairly interesting and not stagnant in the slightest, offering much to be saved for an initial viewing rather than being spoiled. As the two encore Van Halen covers end, and the the instrumental opener “Grizzly Adams” plays over the PA system, it becomes impertinent that any fan of Mr. Bungle, Mike Patton, thrash/heavy music or just goofiness ought to check it out.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor (Mr. Rogers cover)
Anarchy Up Your Anus
Raping Your Mind
Methematics/Hell Awaits (Slayer cover)/Summer Breeze (Seals & Crofts cover)
World Up My Ass (Circle Jerks cover)
Glutton For Punishment
Hypocrites/Habla Español O Muere (SOD cover)
Spreading The Thighs of Death/Loss For Words (Corrosion of Conformity cover)
Tora Tora/Loss of Control (Van Halen covers)