Mr. Bungle – California (1999)

What a trip! What a dream! I was busting to write about this a few months ago – on my first listen I absolutely fell in love with this smorgasbord of musical tomfoolery, but after every subsequent listen I’ve not been able to replicate my interest for it. That was until I realised that you have to give this album your complete attention; it works as background music but to truly appreciate what it is that’s going on here you really must give it everything. Take an hour out of your day (medicinal cigarette optional) and really wrap your head around this.

Some people say that Mr. Bungle got softer with every passing album, and whilst this is true – sonically the recording is nowhere near as aurally terrifying as the self-titled or earlier demos – California possesses as much as or if not more creativity than the band did during their jazzy circus-vibe funk metal days. I feel as though I am slowly losing my mind in Vegas as “Sweet Charity” opens up this boggling musical journey. My favourite track though is “Pink Cigarette”, which aches (perhaps ironically) of love lost over a strained and lounged-out big band bombast.

Give it time. All it asks in return is your sanity.