In 1997, Rastacore Records started releasing Mr. Bungle
's early Bowl of Chiley
tape as Bowl of Chiley
. It was the first time the album had been released as a CD, but when the band caught wind of the disc, the production was halted and only a limited number of these survived. Obnoxious, jokey, and much less experimental than they would become, Bowl of Chiley
is essentially the sound of some very talented teenagers trying to make their love of jazz and ska come together in whatever way they can. Singer Mike Patton
is surprisingly the hardest part of this album to take, screeching and crooning with the sort of manic energy that can be brutal without some structure. And a lack of structure is certainly what this suffers from, offering little more than extended funk and ska jams that have few hooks or memorable parts to recommend them. Still, songs like "Evil Satan" and "You Can't Make Me Mad" are fun little punk songs that don't overstay their welcome and contain decent hooks. Patton
fanatics will probably hunt this down no matter what, and it is very interesting to hear the multi-talented vocalist in his teen years. Just be warned that this is light years behind their eponymous major-label debut, containing few hints that they would go on to be the strangest and most influential genre-benders in alternative rock during the '90s.