Song of the Day: None Of Them Knew They Were Robots by Mr. Bungle

“None of Them Knew They Were Robots” is a song by American experimental band Mr. Bungle from their third and final studio album California.

Lyrics:

Mendel’s machines replicate in the night
In the black iron prison of St. Augustine’s light
He’s paying the bills and they’re doing him proud
They can float their burnt offerings on assembler clouds
With omega point in the sight
The new Franklins fly their kites
And the post modern empire is ended tonight

From history
The flood of counterfeits released
The black cloud
Reductionism and the beast
Automatons gather all the pieces
So the world may be increased
In simulation jubilation
For the deceased…

Spray-on clothes and diamond jaws
Wrinkles smoothed by nanoclaws
With my machines I can dispatch you
From this world without a trace
Our nostalgia ghosts are ready to take your place
Content-shifting shopping malls
Gasoline trees and walk-through walls
None of them knew!
None of them knew!

I feel the gray goo boiling my blood
As I watch the dead rise up out of the earth
Try to hide from the lies as they all come true

Deus absconditus
Deus nullus deus
Deus nisi deus

I feel the grey goo boiling my blood
As the fenris wolf slowly bites through his chain
Try to hide the myth as it becomes a man
None of them knew!
None of them knew!
They. Were. Ro. Bots

Deus absconditus
Deus nullus deus
Deus absconditus
Deus nisi deus

Buying an X or an O
In state craft tic tac toe
Cats game for Joe Blow
Post industrial bliss
A binary hug or kiss
Can be wrung from utility mist

They stole the great arcanum
The secret fire
Moloch found his gold
For the new empire
Once again
The necrophage becomes saint

Lindy hop around the truth
Jump back wolf pack attack!
Swingin’ up there in the noose
Slap back white shark attack!
Lindy hop around the truth
Jump back wolf pack attack!
Swingin’ up there in the noose
Slap back white shark attack!

Phased array diffraction nets
From full-wall paint-on TV sets
Migratory home sublets
And time shared diamond fiber sets
Recombinant logos keys
Bitic Qabalistic trees

Deus absconditus
Deus nullus deus
Deus nisi deus

I feel the grey goo boiling my blood
As leviathan and his bugs freeze the sea
Try to save the world by immolating myself

From history
The flood of counterfeits released
The black cloud
The resurrection of the deceased
Automotons gather all the pieces
So the world may be increased
In simulation jubilation
For the builders
Of the body of the beast

……

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

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, kecak, thrash metal, lounge music, jazz rock, avant-garde music, piano ballads and music influenced by science fiction, spaghetti western and horror film scores.

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.”

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. 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, apparently at the behest of RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis (because they were the headlining band, they retained the right to choose what acts could and couldn’t perform with them). 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.

Upset at the cancelled festival dates, Mr. Bungle retaliated by giving a concert on Halloween Night where they parodied several RHCP songs and ridiculed their onstage mannerisms and sound. 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.”

Mr. Bungle

Origin Eureka, California, United States
Genres Avant-garde metal, experimental,funk metal
Years active 1985–2004
Labels Warner Bros., Slash
Associated acts Faith No More, Secret Chiefs 3,Fantômas, Tomahawk
Website mrbungle.com
Past members
(1985–1987)
  • Mike Patton – vocals, keyboards, samples
  • Trey Spruance – guitar, keyboards
  • Trevor Dunn – bass
  • Jed Watts – drums
  • Theo Lengyel – saxophone, keyboards
(1987–1989)
  • Mike Patton – vocals, keyboards, samples
  • Trey Spruance – guitar, keyboards
  • Trevor Dunn – bass
  • Hans Wagner – drums
  • Luke Miller – horns
  • Theo Lengyel – saxophone, keyboards
(1989–1996)
  • Mike Patton – vocals, keyboards, samples
  • Trey Spruance – guitar, keyboards
  • Trevor Dunn – bass
  • Danny Heifetz – drums
  • Clinton “Bär” McKinnon – reeds
  • Theo Lengyel – saxophone, keyboards
(1996–2000)
  • Mike Patton – vocals, keyboards, samples
  • Trey Spruance – guitar, keyboards
  • Trevor Dunn – bass
  • Danny Heifetz – drums
  • Clinton “Bär” McKinnon – reeds

image by P. Earwig

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