Album Review: Mike Patton – Mondo Cane

April 29, 2010

Mike Patton - Mondo CaneTitle: Mondo Cane
Artist: Mike Patton
Label: Ipecac Recordings
Released: 4 May 2010
In one word: Brilliant

Finally, I get to write a Mike Patton review!  Woo-hoo!  I’ll confess I was tempted to be a smart-arse and write the shortest review of my life.  It would have gone something like this:  “Brilliant.  Just fucking BRILLIANT.  Buy it.  The End.”

But you bastards don’t get off that easy.  Look, basically there’s no point in me preaching to the existing converts of the ever-awesome Mr. Patton:  You people know who you are, and don’t need a hack like ME tellin’ you to grab this record, because let’s face it, you will anyway!  So I’m going to attempt, instead, to coax those who may have written him off because they “don’t like metal” or “think he’s weird just for the sake of being weird” or whatever.  This is for you philistines, you unbelievers.  Deep breath, here I go…

Okay, yes, fair call, Mr. Patton can be somewhat “weird”.  And yes, alright, he may have been first introduced to the world via two bands with what I will tactfully call “metal elements”, namely Faith No More and Mr Bungle.  And okay, the very FACT that these two bands were anything but “straight-up” metal could be used as evidence by non-believers to prove just what a “wilful weirdo” he is, and blah blah blah.  But how, then, does one explain Peeping Tom, which apart from a couple of heavy guitars on a track or two has noting to do with the metal genre, and flexes the mighty Patton’s vocal cords only so far as the pop-ified hip-hop sound of the record requires?  And what of this new record, where Mr. Patton sings (and GLORIOUSLY, one might add!) Italian “golden-oldies” to the accompaniment of a 15-piece band and 40-piece orchestra?  I won’t even bore you with mention of his forays into experimental hip-hop and turntablism (General Patton vs. The X-Ecutioners), or voice-and-mic-only minimalism (Adult Themes For Voice), or his many projects with experimental jazz/noise improviser John Zorn (Moonchild et al), or his recent journeys into the world of film soundtrack composition (A Perfect Place, Crank: High Voltage), or…want me to go on?

If there’s one thing Mr. Patton has proven to us time and time again – well, at least those of us who have been listening closely – it’s that he’s anything but predictable.  If you’re still expecting every album to be full of cartoon voices and that high nasal singing circa The Real Thing, then expect to be presently surprised.  This is the closest Mr. Patton has come to a “mature” album (he IS 42 now, after all); and for once, it’s nice to hear an album that fits such a description and doesn’t flat-out SUCK.  This record just goes to prove what us avid Patton-ites have known for a long time:  Best.  Vocalist.  Ever.  So come on, what are you waiting for?  Even your dear old grandma might enjoy this one.  Just make sure you put her to bed with her big fluffy earmuffs BEFORE you bring out the Fantomas afterwards…

© Michael Bowser, Music Vice


12 Responses to Album Review: Mike Patton – Mondo Cane

  1. danny on April 30, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    is this a record review? what about the record? i guess i am convinced that you’ll buy whatever patton is involved with. would u suck his dick?

  2. Danny Crombie on April 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I love you Bowser for this review, can’t wait to hear it!

  3. Aex on May 1, 2010 at 2:46 am

    “Even your dear old grandma might enjoy this one”

    She did actually.

  4. Michael Bowser on May 2, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Record? Wha – ? Oh yeah, record. If you look closely between the blatant acts of fellacio, you’ll see I mentioned it at least in passing, my friend. And yes, I would and do buy pretty much everything Patton’s involved in, though I ended up selling that God-awful solo album of his where he eats dinner to the sound of discordant jazz noises…so I am capable of discriminating, if only just…

    PS His dick is very tasty, btw. I usually spit rather than swallow once we’re done, though.

  5. Michael Bowser on May 2, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Oh, and to “Aex”:

    That is one very cool grandma you have. Is she single? Any chance of throwing me her phone number? 😉

  6. Seth on May 4, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Damn, more money I’ve got to spend this week! This project is too cool. What with the new Sinatra/Jobim re-issue…..the new Caribou album, which I still need to get…..and Gayngs next week, I’m going broke. Mmm….and I bet his dick really IS tasty.

  7. J J on May 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Shit review

  8. Michael Bowser on May 5, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Thank you, JJ! Best review of a review I have ever received 😉

  9. Tino on May 28, 2010 at 8:51 am

    dude, next time you title something “Album Review: Mike Patton – Mondo Cane” write about the fucking album……

  10. Michael Bowser on May 29, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Oh dear. I really have ruffled feathers here. From now on, good people, I will endeavour to write at least one paragraph on each and every song, detailing highlights of each therein and what time count they appear at. Hell, I’ll even transcribe the lyrics IN FULL if that’s what you want..!

    PS Considering I made it quite clear I wasn’t going to bother to go into any depth about the album less than a third into the review, I’m surprised you all kept reading on. Hope springs eternal, eh?!

  11. Michael Bowser on May 29, 2010 at 6:20 am

    PS Note to self: Need to write more “non-reviews”. Seem to generate more comments than any other type of review!

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