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Monday, March 2, 2009

Fungo Mungo - Humungous

Name: Fungo Mungo
Album: Humungous
Year: 1992
Style: Alternative-Funk
Similar Bands: Aninmal Bag, Blind Melon, Ugly Kid Joe, Real Thing era Faith No More,
"One-Word" Review: nonmedicated-A.D.D.-funk-ternative.
Based Out Of: Oakland, CA
Label: Island
Humungous - CD, Cover
Humungous - Back, Liner Notes

Humungous (1992)
  1. Time On My Hands 4:35
  2. Do You Believe In God 3:43
  3. Hype is Stupid 3:50
  4. Brothers & Sisters 3:50
  5. Homies 3:07
  6. Downtown Oakland 2:51
  7. Sold Your Soul (For Rock N' Roll) 3:30
  8. Sex Sells 4:03
  9. STFU 2:08
  10. Death Song 2:32
  11. Spontaneous Solo 0:30
Album Rating (1-10): 4.5

Members & Other Bands:
Damion Gallegos (Screamin Demon) - Vox, Harmonica
Jeff Gomes (Hype Minister Jeffy "G") - Drums, Percussion
Arion Salazar(Thumpy Z) - Bass (Third Eye Blind, Bullmark
Miguel Fimbriez Johnson (Funkmaster "J") - Guitar
Damon Ramirez (Mamin "D") - Keys (Oslo)
Ken Schick - Alto Sax
Chris Mondt - Bonaphone
Tony George - Trumpet
Reed Boy - Tenor Sax
Swampy Dave - Baritone Sax
Dino Airali (Big Daddy "D") - Director, Management
Robert Margouleff - Mixed, Co-Production
Brant Biles - Mixedm Engineered
Joe Blaney - Co-Production, Engineered
Matt Winegar - Co-Production
Paul Mandrl - Engineered
David Plank - Enginnered
Ron Riger - Engineered
Kevin Scott - Asst. Engineer
Bob Ross - Asst. Engineer
Richard Steinback - Asst. Engineer
Todd Orr - Asst. Engineer
Holly Ferguson - Island Production Coorinator
Jimmy Ramirez - Road Manager
Tony Wilson - Sound
Bernie Grundman - Mastering
Van Arno - Illustration
David Pascal (D Squared) - Art Direction & Design
Drew Cobb (D Squared) - Art Direction & Design
Rachel Raffael - Fimo Art
Baidra Prochnow - Photography
Harold-O - Photography
Mike Bloom - Photography
Janet Dematteis - Island Art Coordinator

Unknown-ness: This is one more of those CDs that mysteriously wound up on my CD shelves. Why did I get it, when did I get it? I don’t remember. Perhaps I bought it because I’d have heard of the name somewhere. Perhaps the CD cover appealed to my juvenile nature back in high school, and I found it cheap in a used bin. Perhaps the name reminded me of Oingo Boingo, whom I love. All I know is that I did get it used and cheap; probably at some flea market like Perk Sale or Rices. But the cover is cartoon zany, and it incorporates the Island Records logo in the artwork, which is a bit odd. I’m assuming, from the pictures on the back of the band, that they will be an alternative, jammy band, most likely not to my liking. But perhaps not.

Album Review: “Time On My Hands” has 30 seconds of a car starting and flipping through radio stations. Then the song proper starts. The music is a funky rock song. The vocals are like a less dynamic “Real Thing” Mike Patton, which was very popular for the time. There are some creative sections of music to the song; it is not just a straightforward jam. There is even some new wave style synths mixed into the grunge rock style. It ends with a dark, thick metal instrumental section. “Do You Believe In God” is another funky track, with a slap bass sound. But the vocals, like early Ugly Kid Joe, are some sung and some spoken like a TV evangelist. Part mocking religion, but also sounding honest in it praise to god. A shouting, death metal section follows up the preacher section. There is some record scratching too, and the genre is all over the place. The song ends with more new wave synth keys (partly Roddy Bottom-like from FNM, too), and a guitar wail to complete the track. “Hype is Stupid” is poorly covered Prince, slightly funky, with jangely guitars. The vocals are quiet, like a hushed Michael Hutchence. But they change too, from louder chanting to nasally sing-song, the song does not stay in one place. A short spoken word section echos over a tinkling piano. It is catchy only because it is so repetitive. “Brothers & Sisters” shows the band’s James Brown influence. It includes more evangelical sermoning, and quite the variety of vocal styles. Something for everyone: harmonica, Prince screeching, James Brown “Huh-Yeahs”, growling, and melodic singing, and sax. It too is very repetitive, but slightly catchier.

“Homies” starts with a quote sample, and scratches into a slow, funky beat. The singing is somewhat of a fast spoken-rap, even the chorus is mostly spoken, with a slight melody. “Downtown Oakland” starts with drums only, and metal guitar kicks in, followed by a warrant or Motley Crue like vocals for the chorus. The rap-talking verse flows quietly. The song sounds like something from Flight of the Conchords. “Sold Your Soul (For Rock N' Roll)” the religious tone for the entire record permeates here too, with the intro and southern style devil vocals and more rap-rock vocals. It’s kinda cute, especially when the vocals sneak in a high pitched “burn!” But the song is actually ridiculous, it almost screams for a cheesy 90’s video accompaniment. “Sex Sells” is a fast rap-rock song, similar to something you’d expect from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But the guitar and vocal style sounds a bit like a throwaway Mr. Bungle song. At the same time, I heard Mr Bungle’s “Love Is A Fist” and Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing.” “STFU” is a guitar and drums driven song. The lyrics are spoken, and sound like C&C Music Factory. And then you figure out what “STFU” means: “Shut The Fuck Up.” There are lots of samples in the song, including a police siren, and many dialogue samples. “Death Song” Is a fast paced, driving metal song. With dark, deep death metal vocals, sounding like the voice from Altered Beast: “Rise From Your Grave.” Different vocal sections are brought to the front and thrown away for new and different styles. The song kinda flows right into the ending “Spontaneous Solo” that fades out over a long 15 seconds or so to end the record.

Stand Out Track: Sex Sells

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