The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo

Mr. Bungle

Ipecac, 2020

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Well, they said it couldn’t be done. Almost twenty years after they disbanded, the legendary and iconic Mr. Bungle has reunited and to celebrate, they’ve re-recorded their 1986 thrash metal demo, The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny. It’s this record that is said to have landed Mike Patton the job in Faith No More, but enough about that: is the band’s first record in 21 years any good?

The band’s legendary trio of Patton, bassist Trevor Dunn, and guitarist Trey Spruance has been joined by thrash metal legends Scott Ian (Anthrax, S.O.D.) on rhythm guitar and Dave Lombardo (Slayer) on drums. Jesus, does this thing smoke. Introduced by the instrumental “Grizzly Adams” and the furious and brief “Anarchy Up Your Anus,” the band are absolutely on fire right out of the gate.

“Raping Your Mind” had only previously been heard on an old Warner Brothers sampler in very lo-fi form. This new version showcases everything the band had been wanting to try on the originals but were too young and inexperienced to do. The riffing from Spruance and Ian is enough to make any speed guitarist green with envy. Ditto with “Spreading The Thighs Of Death,” which is one of the heaviest and most ungodly creations here. Patton is screaming and howling like I haven’t heard him in years. Some of the sounds he creates remind me why I fell in love with this band to begin with.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

One of the only songs here that doesn’t work as well as it should is the track “Hypocrites,” which is paired up with an S.O.D. remake “Speak Spanish Or Die.” The whole track just doesn’t flow with the rest of the record. But hey, they made this record in about 10 days, so we should be happy we’ve gotten anything at all.

Did I mention the riffing here is out of this damn world? Kudos once again to Spruance and Ian for making one of the best guitar-based records of the year. Spruance had been able to rip and shred every once in a while on a Bungle record, but now he’s completely let loose and unhinged and the record is all the better because of it.

Some people have complained that this isn’t the Bungle they initially fell in love with, that it’s too heavy and not completely representative of their previous records. But hey, this is a different way to do a reunion: record and play a 30-year-old demo of thrash metal tracks done when they were teenagers. By bringing in some ace help and acknowledging that longtime essential members Clinton McKinnon and Danny Heifetz are there in spirit, the band sounds great and can still overpower any band that tries to sonically touch them.

While the Red Hot Chili Peppers are still trying to redefine their sound for the umpteenth time, Bungle have returned with some of the best playing I’ve heard on a metal record in a lifetime. Closing the album with “Sudden Death,” the band has created what just might be one of their all-time best tracks. It’s just a gut punch from beginning to end, crying out for constant headbanging and yelling. It just might be one of my top five songs for the whole year.

When an album has songs like “Sudden Death,” “Glutton For Punishment,” and “Raping Your Mind,” the hell with what the naysayers are telling you, this is a way to introduce Bungle to new generations who so desperately need it. Then they can go back and discover the magical weirdness that others of us have known for so long.

Rating: A-

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