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      Mr. Bungle

      The Raging Wrath Of The Easter Bunny Demo

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      In 1986, a fledgling Mr. Bungle issued a cassette demo called Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny, a blistering slab of gnarly lo-fi/NoCal thrash metal that sounded like it was extracted from the toothy side of a wood chipper. The tape impressed fellow freak-metallers Faith No More enough to ask frontman Mike Patton to take up the mic and join their cause, which he did, but on the condition that he would also continue fronting Mr. Bungle. Far removed from the nightmarish circus-funk-metal/avant-garde jazz stylings of the band's eponymous 1991 full-length debut and subsequent full-length efforts, Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny was unapologetically metal. The band take that into account on this savage 2020 re-recording -- their first since 1999's California -- which sees original members Mike Patton, Trey Spruance, and Trevor Dunn joined by Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian and ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. Commencing with the liquid instrumental "Grizzly Addams," RWOTEB officially lifts off with the searing "Anarchy Up Your Anus," a punk-metal bruiser that sets a relentless pace, with Lombardo's blunt-force kit work and Ian's punchy and indelible riffage leading the charge. All of the songs bear the sonic watermarks of the era in which they were written -- hearing them with the fidelity cranked up to 11 is a real thrill -- with "Bungle Grind" and the lurid "Raping Your Mind" echoing classic West Coast thrash and the white-knuckle closer "Sudden Death" evoking early-'80s crossover and hardcore. A pair of unreleased cuts, the addled punk-metal gems "Methamatics" and "Eracist," and a blazing rendition of Corrosion of Conformity's "Loss for Words" fit seamlessly into the taut 11-track set. What's best is that Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny doesn't sound like it was brought into the 21st century kicking and screaming. It does all that and more, but there's so much mad joy at the helm -- this is a band who would close their shows with a faithful cover of the Alan Parsons Project ballad "Time" while masked and covered in blood -- that the material feels bracing, vital, and rooted in the present.

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