California (Mr. Bungle album)

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Studio album by Mr. Bungle
Released June 13, 1999
Recorded 1998
Genre Experimental rock
Length 44:16
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Mr. Bungle
Mr. Bungle chronology
Disco Volante

California is the third and final studio album by American band Mr. Bungle. It was released on June 13, 1999, through Warner Bros.

Musical style[edit]

In keeping with much of the band's output, the album incorporates a wide variety of musical styles, including Hawaiian music, Eastern music, electro-funk, doo-wop, folk music, pop music, surf rock, circus music, psychobilly, kecak, thrash metal, lounge music, exotica, space age pop, jazz rock, avant-garde music, piano ballads and music influenced by science fiction, spaghetti western and horror film scores.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[2]
NME 6/10[3]
Pitchfork 7.3/10[4]

California has been well received by critics. A positive review came from Pitchfork, who called it "one of those albums that you can't believe a major label had anything to do with", writing, "the more I listen to California, the more I'm convinced that Mike Patton is really the devil on holiday."[4]


Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
1999 Rolling Stone Germany "Albums of the Year" 15

Feud with the Red Hot Chili Peppers[edit]

California was originally scheduled for release on June 8, 1999, but Warner delayed it by several days so as not to coincide with RHCP's similarly titled album Californication. Mr. Bungle retaliated by giving a concert on Halloween Night in 1999 where they parodied several RHCP songs and ridiculed their onstage mannerisms and sound including impersonating the ghost of late Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak shooting up heroin.

During the summer and fall tour to promote the album, Mr. Bungle's agent booked the group for several major music festivals in Europe, but the band got removed from all of them at the last minute, claiming Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis was behind them being thrown off the festival (the band said because they were the headlining band, they retained the right to choose what acts could and couldn't perform with them which has never been confirmed). The incident was a resurfacing of an old quarrel between RHCP and Mike Patton's previous group Faith No More that had occurred in 1989 when Kiedis accused Patton of copying his mannerisms on stage, especially in the music video for the song Epic. Kiedis said of the festival shows “I would not have given two fucks if they played there with us. But after I heard about [the] Halloween show where they mocked us, fuck him and fuck the whole band.” Trevor Dunn later published a lengthy diatribe on his personal website which stated "Flea, in all seriousness, really isn't that good. I mean, c'mon. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were vaguely interesting in the late 80s, but Christ they fucking suck, they suck."

Patton was asked in July 2010 about the festival incident and if he made peace with Kiedis. Patton said "It’s not worth talking about. I’ve no idea what it was about then and I don’t know now. But I bet we’d have a warm embrace if we saw each other now."

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Sweet Charity"   Mike Patton Patton 5:05
2. "None of Them Knew They Were Robots"   Trey Spruance Spruance, Patton, Danny Heifetz 6:03
3. "Retrovertigo"   Trevor Dunn Dunn 4:59
4. "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare"   Patton Patton, Clinton "Bär" McKinnon 3:55
5. "Ars Moriendi"   Patton Patton 4:10
6. "Pink Cigarette"   Patton Spruance, Patton 4:55
7. "Golem II: The Bionic Vapour Boy"   Spruance Spruance 3:34
8. "The Holy Filament"   Dunn Dunn 4:04
9. "Vanity Fair"   Patton Dunn, Patton 2:58
10. "Goodbye Sober Day"   Patton Patton, McKinnon 4:29
Total length:


Mr. Bungle[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "California - Mr. Bungle : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ Alternative Press: 93. August 1999.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "NME Album Reviews - California". December 7, 1999. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Mirov, Nick. "Mr. Bungle: California: Pitchfork Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on January 29, 2001. Retrieved August 22, 2012.