Mr. Bungle Rides The Carousel, Notwithstanding His Midlife Crisis

Singer and writerMike Patton is one hyper-talented and unbalanced vocalist. A favorite is he.

Faith No More came stumbling along in the early 1980’s with their debut We Care a Lot and then Introduce Yourself. Original frontman Chuck Mosley added a lot of vein-popping angst but not much in terms of vocal talent. Fortunately for all of us, after Chuck left over creative differences (or something…who knows what to expect when disputes involve “artists”), Mike Patton was chosen to replace him after the band heard a Mr. Bungle demo tape.  Mike Patton and some friends formed  Mr. Bungle during high school as a mish-mash experimentalist venture melding pretty much anything they could get their muddy hands around. It was an awful lot of fun. Even after taking the job as vocalist for Faith No More, Mike continued to work with Mr. Bungle, so, fortunately we were blessed with two sides of Mike Patton in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. In 1991, Mike Patton and his pals released Mr. Bungle, the first full studio album. Our favorite song off of it is probably also the most accessible. Nevertheless, it is still a whirling dervish of the band’s brand of  madness. Given our penchant for comics, “Carousel” makes us think it could be the theme music for the Joker in “The Killing Joke.” Anyway, the next year, Mike Patton and his FNM bandmates released Angel Dust. Off that album, “Midlife Crisis” is the most easily recognized. It’s a good one so we’ll highlight that here as well.

Mike Patton’s unique range and command of various vocal styles sets him apart from his less talented contemporaries and his genius in experimentation adds a fresh layer of chili paste with a dash of poop to popular music. Although his time with Faith No More is over and Mr. Bungle appears to be suspended indefinitely, Mike Patton continues to produce through other bands and solo work. His most recent solo project is inspired by time spent in Italy. Italian oldies and other musical influences from the region informed the album’s creative process (yes, Mike Patton sings in Italian, but we aren’t sure if he really knows what he’s singing about since some of his songs sing support for Silvio Berlusconi and a return to fascism – OK, only kidding — we think …). We’ll throw in one of his songs from 2010’s Mondo Cane as a favor.

Mr. Bungle’s “Carousel”

Faith No More’s “Midlife Crisis”

Mike Patton’s “Urlo Negro”


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