Mr Bungle - The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo [Ipecac - 2020]Ah, Mr. Bungle. I, like probably many others, had my first encounter with Mr. Bungle through Mike Patton's t-shirt in Faith No More's "Epic" video. Those were simpler times, so it took many years before I was able to actually hear them. By that time, I was really drifting from Mike Patton and his many, many projects, and it never landed with me. When their re-recorded The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny Demo hit my desk, I was less than thrilled. And because of this, I hit play before I read anything about it. I was beyond pleasantly surprised.
Born in the thrash boom of the 80's metal scene, Mr. Bungle recorded their demo, The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny, in 1986. Although they strayed far from this sound, they would still play songs from it at their shows. Now, 35 years later, they've professionally re-recorded it. And, who better to bring on to a professional thrash album than Dave Lombardo and Scott Ian? Remember above where I wrote that I didn't read anything about this? I threw the tracks willy nilly into my media player, and "Sudden Death" came on first. "This sounds like Dave Lombardo." "That guy picks like Scott Ian." "I can't believe this is a thrash album!" Then I looked. While the songs may be Mr. Bungle, Dave and Scott really bring their sound to the mix. This is a modern thrash gem through and through. It has all the beefiness and swagger of mid-80's thrashing teenagers, but with the skill and production of 50 year old legends. I think that's the most fun part about this: they're not turning the songs into something they weren't intended to be. They're fast, bold, and fun. From start to finish, The Raging Wrath of The Easter Bunny is metal thrashing mad. It surely doesn't hurt that this is basically a supergroup, but hey, technicalities.
As I get older, I'm getting better at looking past my musical prejudices (sometimes haha), and accepting the material for what it is. I'm certainly very glad I let them melt away after hitting play on this album. This is a real thrashterpiece, and Patton's vocals fit perfectly. Will it make me reconsider his oeuvre? No, but this album still wails and I'm very happy that it's a part of my life. Paul Casey