Butthole Surfers

"Art" is only one letter away from "Fart."
* special introductory paragraph!
* Butthole Surfers EP
* Live PCPP EP
* Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac
* Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis EP
* Rembrandt Pussyhorse
* Locust Abortion Technician
* Hairway To Steven
* Double Live Bootleg
* Widowermaker EP
* The Hurdy Gurdy Man EP
* Pioughd
* Independent Worm Saloon
* 10"
* The Hole Truth... And Nothing Butt!
* ElectricLarryLand
* After The Astronaut
* Weird Revolution
* Humpty Dumpty LSD
Some call them avant-garde; others noisy and talentless. Personally, I'd say that over the course of their 20+ years as a unit, they've proven themselves to be just as adept at writing memorable melodies as they are at making cool noises. I like them because the singer (Gibby Haynes, really tall son of a children's TV show host) is a hilarious screaming redneck, the guitarist (Paul Leary, son of a gun) has a completely unique style (It sounds like he's playing the instrument wrong! He bends too many strings, hits too hard, often sounds like he hasn't tuned the thing at all....yet, has complete control over it), and the band as a whole is not afraid to take risks. They've experimented with art rock, metallic noise, tape speed manipulation, disgusting sound effects, tribal drumming, nude dancers, megaphones, surf music, R.E.M. covers, films of auto accidents, shotgun blasts, flaming cymbals - have I missed anything? Oh yeah, country-western.


Butthole Surfers ep - Alternative Tentacles 1983.
Rating = 9

Yeesh! What a way to introduce yourselves to the world! Bustin' straight outta Austin, they presented to the listening public a record with a bunch of dingdongs on the cover that starts with a blast of feedback (reminiscent of the Beatles's "I Feel Fine!") followed by a retarded Southern voice shrieking, "THERE'S A TIME TO FUCK AND A TIME TO CRAVE/BUT THE SHAH SLEEPS IN LEE HARVEY'S GRAAAAAAAAAAAVE!" and a huge painful racket of hard-core noise. Funny, yes. But is it art or garbage? The correct answer is, of course, who gives a crap?

The record continues with what I always thought was a rip-off of R.E.M.'s "So. Central Rain" until I realized that this record came out before that record! Did R.E.M. rip off "Hey?" Did they? Lousy bastards. I guess if they can rip off The Everly Brothers ("Everybody Hurts"), INXS ("King Of Comedy"), and Loop ("I Took Your Name"), they'd might as well rip off the Butthole Surfers, too!!! Then there's a song called "Something" that goes on for about ten years, but it's pretty catchy in an uncatchy-kinda way, if that's vague enough.

Then side two is really good - "BarBQ Pope," "Wichita Cathedral," and "Suicide" are very creative songs. All in all, it sounds like an accurate chronicle of a band that probably took too many drugs (as if there's actually such a thing as "too many drugs." Ha! I have to chuckle at such a concept!).

Reader Comments

libby.jowell@cwix.com
and the record sounds great at both 33 & 45 rpm

jfiero1@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
It certainly does. For years I thought this record was out of print 'cause the Rolling Stone Album Guide said so, and lo, there was much wailing and nashing of teeth. Then, through sheer dumb luck (the Alternative Tentacles web site was up for a damn change, and I did a search), I realised that "out of print" meant "not on cd." I should've known better than to trust a professional rock critic to get his facts straight, but what do you want? I read that when I was fourteen, and gullible. So anyway, along comes the disc, I dust off my parents' old turntable and, being new to the ways of vinyl, play it on the wrong speed. "Whoah," I think, "that sounds fuckin' weird." But, having purchased all the other Surfers albums, I merely shrug. What, after all, was I to expect? Plus, the guy from the Spin Alternative Record Guide (I know, I know; it would be a while before I learned my lesson), described Gibby's voice from the first one as being "processed." Now this leads me to believe the Spin magazine bigshot played it incorrectly just like me, something which I find truly amusing, but then it just made me think the guys hadn't gotten as sophisticated with vocal effects as they would later. But like the poster above observed, it doesn't really matter: this ep kicks ass at any speed. Definitely among their finest recordings, and one of the best punk singles of all time, in my opinion. The only less than absolutely stellar song on the whole thing is "The Revenge of Anus Presley," and what the hell, it's filler, but it makes a nice closer. My favorite moments are the first burst of chaotic noise in "The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey's Grave" (I song I'd heard ABOUT hundreds of times before I actually HEARD it), the part in "Something" when Gibby starts doing Travis Bickle, and, another classic Gibby moment, the rabid squawking sounds he makes at the beginning of "Bar-B-Q Pope," which absolutely ruin the mood set by the nifty guitar line.

Anonymous
People seem a little confused about who does the singing on these early 'Surfers records. Gibby was the band's lead vocalist, but he doesn't sing on the songs "Something", "BBQ Pope", or "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave". That's guitarist Paul Leary. I know because I saw him sing them in the mid-80's. And anyway, he sounds nothing like Gibby.

For me, Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac was the ultimate Butthole Surfers record. It came out in late '84 when absolutely everything was either cheesy 80's metal, Euro-disco pap or (even worse, somehow) rotely predictable, dogmatic MRR-sucking hardcore. At punk shows you saw nothing but the same weak posing and patently insincere "Reagan Sucks" prosody. Then this album hit the scene like a piss-filled balloon. Just imagine Dead Kennedys or Black Flag fans trying to deal with its drifting rhythms, jarring transitions, utterly deranged guitar overdrive and lowbrow surrealist pottymouth lyrics. All these free-livin' anarchists were shocked and appalled. And just imagine how Wham! fans felt!

This set has the power, noise, filth and braindamaged sagehood bands like Big Black and Flipper could only winkle at, and what still stuns me is that the band could try on so many styles on their first LP and still make every song a corker. Try to imagine--nobody else on the planet sounded remotely like this. Only Foetus came close.

With later albums a strong wank factor reared its head (hand?), and by "Locust Abortion..." they seemed to have surfed off course. Lost in a bywater of aimless electronic gimmickry and Boho "cuteness". Even the nonsequiters turned formulaic, and their shows began to fill with tall-hair gothic art boys in Skinny Puppy shirts, the kind of dupes who'd cheer along to "Faces of Death" or go to Mark Pauline shows and not get it. Their original promise to lead us somewhere sleazy and new had expired. Or maybe I was just a jaded old man (21).

Jcjh20@aol.com
What a strange EP! But nonetheless, an awesome one. "Suicide" is an awesome little surf-parody type song, about, well, being suicidal! I love that little acapella vocal by Gibby in the first few seconds. Funny shit! "Something" is a chaotic song, with some chaotic singing (from Leary this time)! "BBQ Pope" is also sung by Leary (as is the feedback and screaming ridden "Shah Sleeps In Lee Harveys Grave") and has some nice jankly guitar lines before being interupted by some weird screaming. "Wichita Cathedral" is also a fun song. Although short, i love these songs! A nine!

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
This was a fine piece of fucked up chaos when I was a teen, but only "Hey" and "Suicide" really remain favourites with me now - I dunno, I've probably heard "Something" and "The Shah.." way, way too many times. But "Hey" is a damn classic - and it DOES totally remind me R.E.M., but Gibby's southern twang tremolo is close enough to Stipe's southern twang tremolo that will happen at times ("Colored F.B.I. guy comes to mind)

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Like it or not, this EP had to exist. It's all part of the delicate balance of nature. Without a song like "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave" existing, it's hard to imagine to imagine the existence of its polar opposite, "Having My Baby" by Paul Anka. And without "Bar-BQ Pope", how could its opposite, "Life is a Highway (I Wanna Drive it all Night Long)" comfortably sit in the world? It's all part of that Darwinian concept, Survival of the Shittiest.

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
I had only known Hairway To Steven, which of course has lots of processed vocals, and I DEFinitely played the brown album at 33 1/3. I still like it better that way too. Hilarious that others had the same experience.

At either speed, this is great wife-torturing music.

Add your thoughts?

Live PCPPEP ep - Alternative Tentacles 1984.
Rating = 9

Why they chose to release what pretty much amounts to a live re-recording of their first EP is beyond me, but it's still awfully good. In fact, "Something" is actually better than it was on the original record; groove to that really loud drum beat (gun shot?) at the beginning of every chorus (or what would be a chorus if he sang something over that music that occurs between each verse). Plus, it's got "Cowboy Bob," a preview of the next album, although an inaccurate one. Have I mentioned yet how cool their guitar player is?

Reader Comments

jfrankparnell@hotmail.com
This was actually released (though not recorded) before the first EP, as the band (Ze Butthole Zurfers) and label (Ze Alternative Tentacletes) couldn't afford to pay the bill in the studio they recorded it in. So they released this first because it was a lot cheaper (free) to record and both parties wanted a record out. Simply put, this record paid for the above record. Done and done.

warehouse@trafficent.com (Chris Jimson)
i think my favorite part of this live EP is Gibby's background "PGA tour play-by-play" during "BBQ Pope": pure dada; listen close, maybe there's a secret hidden message (OK, probably not).

js_leitch@hotmail.com
This is my favorite Surfers record. I don't care if it's only an EP, they could never quite approach this level of mania in the studio. Paul Leary's redneck-on-crack vocals are such a perfect counterpoint to Gibby's more melodic style... I wish some of the later stuff featured his singing more prominently. Bar-B-Que Pope is the best rock song ever written.

gomonkeygo@gmail.com
The best way to listen to this album is the WRONG way - at 33 1/3, not 45! That's the way I first heard it because I didn't pay any attention to what I was doing. I sat on the floor and thought "Wow - how the hell'd they get that sound live!?!?" It was quite a while before I figured out my mistake. Still like it best the WRONG way.

Add your thoughts?

Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac - Touch And Go 1985.
Rating = 9

Man, the guitar gets REALLY screwed up on this album - as do the vocals. Unlike "Cowboy Bob," a fairly normal and really friggin' catchy rock song, the rest of this album is full of under-produced, tinny, hissy racket. But in a good way! Track-by-track, you ask?

"Concubine," as far as I can gather, has no guitar line. All I can hear are bass, drums, vocals screamed through a megaphone, and a bunch of noise that may or may not be coming from a guitar amp. "Eye Of The Chicken" is similar, but the megaphoned vocals are put through a flanger pedal (giving them a very metallic swirly sound, much like the drum break in "Itchycoo Park," if you know that song at all), and there is clearly a guitar, although it's not really playing much of a melody. "DUM DUM" is yet another bass-driven number, this one borrowing the galloping drumbeat from Black Sabbath's "Children Of The Grave," and sticking lots of unnecessary and ineffective vibrato on the guitar.

Next is "Woly Boly," which has an awfully stupid guitar tone (and not a damn thing in common with Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs' classic "Woolly Bully"); believe me or no, the guitar itself sounds like a stupid redneck!! Kooky. Then "Negro Observer" is pretty much a normal pop song except, of course, it's called "Negro Observer." The Butthole surfer theme song ends side one rather uneventfully, but the numerous false endings are awfully entertaining.

But wait! There's more! For example, there's "Lady Sniff," one of the funniest and most disgusting songs they've ever done - complete with the sounds of a fart, a poop entering a toilet, and several "loogie hocks." There's also "Cherub," a mesmerizing song that would easily be the best one on here if only they'd deleted the irritating out-of-tune ending that drags on for two and a half minutes. "Mexican Caravan" isn't anywhere near as good as the Doors' "Spanish Caravan" (or for that matter, the Monkees' "Door Into Summer," which has the word 'caravan' in it a few times), but it's about buying heroin, so obviously it must be revolutionary like that new Stone Temple Pilots album.

Finally, after "Cowboy Bob," which, as I said, kicks ass in a fairly normal way, the album ends with a simple guitar melody that my dad used to play all the time, but I think he called it "Gloria" or some crap. That's the long of it. The short of it is this - the production of this album may give you a throbbing noggin-burn, but the songs included within may very well give you a .... well.... a throbbing noggin-burn, quite frankly; I'd might as well just admit it and get on with my miserable excuse of a life. Nine dollars an hour, I'm makin'. Nine. That sucks ass.

Reader Comments

jfiero1@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
An auspicious first lp, a personal favorite of mine for a long time. Throbbin' noggin burn is about right, but after putting most of my Surfers albums aside for over a year, I was shocked, coming back to this one, at how genuinely good the music on Psychedelic is. The only two numbers that seem to be mostly noise are "Concubine" and "Eye of the Chicken," and hey, it's cool noise. "Negro Observer," "Cherub," and "Cowboy Bob" in particular are nicely arranged SONGS. It makes me wonder why everyone was so surprised by ElectricLarryLand's pop music sensibilities. If its production were a little hissier, "Jingle of a Dog's Collar" would've fit right in here.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Now this is fucked up. But it is very good indeed. I agree with your rating. Or maybe id give it an 8, not sure. But "Cowboy Bob", "Negro Observer", "Cherub" (i dont hear any "Out of tune" ending anywhere, sounds great all the way threw) are great examples of great straight ahead rock songs. But done Butthole style of course! "Lady Sniff" is downright hilarious too, love all those weird noises (especially the fart sound, i crack up everytime). And of course the weird-ass experimental stuff is great (like "Eye of the chicken"). Very nice, interesting record. The production could be better, but it is definatly a fun album to listen to. My copy actually has the Cream Corn... EP tacked on here too, which brings us a few more great, weird, experimental songs. Although a few mediocre ones.

jfrankparnell@hotmail.com
I actually only own the first three records by the band as I thought they continued to tread on the same formula for all other records thereafter. I like this album and think of it's pretty entertaining but not something I pop in at any given chance. I dunno, the whole "Let's make everything really fucked up" concept can only go so far. Like platinum record sales and MTV (How the hell did that happen again?). Probably the funniest thing about the band and the album is the title - You see, Gibby wanted to call it Another Man's Sac and the band wanted to call it Psychic...Powerless, so they just decided to comprimised. That, and that alone sent me into convulsions of manic laughter alone in my basement for hours on end.

stevenjules@xtra.co.nz
Ooh on this, you can hear the wooden floor and Gibby's best down the mineshaft vocals. All done without Gibbytronics. And his best lyric's, high praise indeed (are they lyric's?) This is the marker for all their other albums, along with the first E.P. Listen to this alongside LAT (god I hate abbreviating album titles). There's no whissy highhat and snare on this badboy. Its all done with a wide eyed approach, (yeah its called speed) which I really like, the old fashioned way. And really there's no filler, deadwood, chaff, lame ducks, toaster leavings (Kelly Bundy circ 1990) or stinkers, and all done at a good toe tapping speed. Tell me you don't dance around the room, singing into a boom handle while listening to this. Beats me why it didn't go to number one. If this isn't their best, I'll eat my hat. A really woolly beanie. My favourite buttholes by far.

Comment: Possibly the best band in the world, (they smoke just about everyone) play, 2 maybe 3 times a day (Fuck it, with the whole Buttholes back catalog) and lots of cheap alcohol

My rating is the Gibby Haynes at his best (Yip that good) of all 10's

warehouse@trafficent.com (c.l.)
"Psychic. . .Powerless. . . . . ." was my favorite back when I worshipped at the throne of all things butthole, but a recent listening left me unimpressed (though my younger co-worker dug it). It seems thrown together, a bunch of loose jams with made-up-while-high lyrics. And of course it is, but that's part of its beauty. It's like William Burroughs audio-collages: don't think, just record, the truth will show through.

princess_vachtangov@yahoo.com
Isn't the part in "Concubine" where the drums come in really similar to the, um, ah,

I'll try to look it up.

The Classical.

By fucking WIRE!

muggwort@netzero.net
Wow, rereading what I wrote for "Locust Abortion Technician" I have to agree that it was dumb crap. I articulated myself abysmally, and didn't really say much to begin with. I was also, I dunno twelve or sumthin when I wrote it so whatever, no regrets. I still am underwhelmed by LTA. To each their own I guess.

Anyways later on I got P.P.A.M.S, and I dig it infinitely more. I like the constant heaviness of it, the basslines, the perversity, the deconstructions. I'd say every song on here has SOMETHING cool about it. I especially dig "Concubine," "Negro Observer," "Mexican Caravan," and "Lady Sniff" the latter two songs I find to be laugh out loud funny and played for my family who thoroughly agreed.

It must be said that I lost my copy of this album and haven't really felt compelled to either find or listen to it again so I'm probably overrating it by giving it a strong 8 but what the hey? The BH surfers really had something going for them before they decided it was a good idea to become corporate sell outs.

tiger_2k@hotmail.com
Okay.
STEP 1: Listen to the opening lyrics of the Clash's "I'm So Bored With The U.S.A."
STEP 2: Listen to the opening lyrics of the Butth*le Surfers' "Mexican Caravan."
STEP 3: Stand well back because your mind is about to EXPLODE.

Well, I think they sound the same, anyway. The Butth*les oughtta sue those plagiarizing Brits' asses off.

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
I remember hearing Cherub on WFMU before I had ever heard of the buttholes. I was into taping radio shows back then, and I still listen to the cassette sometimes. What a great song! I really love the whole album, and think it's their most accessible from this early period.

My wife hates them, and I wanna make her a fan so we don't have to fight when I play them. So, once in a while after a few cocktails, I try to sneak in a 'normal' butthole song. "Negro Obserer" is one of those songs she thinks is pretty good. Then I tell her who it is. Ha-Ha!!! The look on her face is priceless. Then I play "Concubine" and the bloom is off the rose.

mmt319@nyu.edu
I want to be a Butthole Surfer. Psychic Powerless is their best album. Locust Abortion Technician is too slow and boring in parts. Eleeeectric, maybe I’ll reach down, between my legs… and EASE the SEAT BACK

slowjetstranqil@live.com
i read once paul leary would tune all top E strings.

my theory on the noises on concubine is maybe that, just smacking the hell out of it. or plugged into some bass amp i dunno.

Add your thoughts?

Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis EP - Touch And Go 1985.
Rating = 8

Starts off with "Moving To Florida," a downright brilliant deconstruction of a normal Chuck Berry-ish song. The paranoid schizophrenic rants of the speaker rest alone in mid-air, never accompanied by the melody, leaving the listener to ponder the meaninglessness of lines like "They be tellin' Julio Iglesias what to sing....now", until the "music" - basically one note hit way too hard (past the bending point) on a guitar - announces that the "line" has ended. Then, after eight such "lines," a 5- or 6-second guitar break announces that the "verse" is complete, and a new "verse" is about to begin. Genius and darn funny. I don't much like the end, though, when suddenly the words are buried under the music. Up until then, though, it's awfully creative - complete with cricket noises.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same about the other three songs. One is just a bunch of noise accompanying a drum beat and a heavily-distorted voice saying "Lou Reed," and the other two are unremarkable rock songs, although one begins with one of the hicks announcing, "I gotta take a piss!" and that's pretty cool. Decent noise, if you like noise. And the beginning of "To Parter" is really good; the song itself is kinda lame, though.

Reader Comments

jmcfadden@aristotle.net (Jon McFadden)
I'd disagree about "To Parter". This is without a doubt their finest song.

jfiero1@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
Definitely an eight. "Comb" sucks many a gonad, but the other three tear. "Moving to Florida" is a classic Buttholes achievement, while "To Parter" . . . uh, "Too Parter" . . . um, "Two Parter" . . . oh fuck it, THE THIRD SONG has a cool buildup and a great pounding beat. And that's pretty much it. Hey wait! The other three tear? I spoke too soon. "Tornadoes" the easily forgotten last song is kinda boring. But, it beats hell out of "Comb." And two out of four is - an F. Shit. Well, it's still worth Prindle's eight anyway, just don't ask me why.

Jcjh20@aol.com
I agree with the 8. "Moving To Florida" is indeed a genious song. Weird, of course, but genious! "To Parter" i also like a lot, but the other 2 are pretty mediocre. Dont matter none, i got these 4 songs for free tacked on to my Psychic...Powerless... CD!

stevenjules@xtra.co.nz
"Moving to Florida" sure is, an all time classic and "Comb" well, it isn't really that bad, I mean it's noise, Butthole styles, a BIT, a BIT, a BIT, like the start of "Jimi", but it's the songs on side two that interest me most. They are the perfect "Butthole Surfer" pop songs, a little bit bent and coming at you from all angles, with melodies, that sound like they were carved from (Sharon) STONE. "Too Parter" with an awesome noodling intro, and they never really get to the start of the song, and straight up "Tornadoes" which just rocks hard. They both have a "Gary Floyd" feel to them. Understated, sure. Minor classics, yip, but unremarkable? This E.P. must sound almost manic tacked onto the roundhouse, Rembrandt Pussyhorse. What do you think, Jules?, "Well the triangle might be the smallest instrument in an orchestra, but it's just as important as the others"

Comment: One of the best freakin E.Ps. in the bussiness, and although a nine might be a bit high, Florida, NEVER fails to put a smile on our faeces.

My rating is the, I'll bowl me the perfect game, I'll build me the atomic bomb, they'll be tellin' Julio Iglesias what to sing, now, of 9's

steve.robey@mindspring.com
I'll go with the majority here. Two songs are fantastic, the other two are negligible. "Too Parter" and "Moving to Florida" are two of their finest songs (for entirely different reasons, too), and "Comb" and "Tornadoes" are pretty forgettable. Still, that's a .500 batting average, and those are two heavy hitters in the one and three slots!

warehouse@trafficent.com (c.l.)
"Comb"-- I used to play the LP at higher speeds (45? or was it 78?), kinda made the tune more bearable to most folks, funkier.

Tellyrubes@aol.com
It's hard to diss any of the first maybe 5 Surfers records. Honestly, they're one of the more important bands we as Americans have puked out in a long time. Now, you guys are obviously not too keen on Comb, but I think it's fucking brilliant. In fact, Comb live positively ruled. Florida gets kinda pop repetitive after a while. Too Parter is also brilliant. My fav Surfers album (damn, it's actually really hard to say) is probably Psychic......., mostly because I think Cherub is one of the top 5 hippest tunes ever recorded. Paul and Gibby are undoubtedly the Keith and Mick of a later generation, if Keith and Mick were even half as cool.

Add your thoughts?

Rembrandt Pussyhorse - Touch And Go 1985.
Rating = 7

Their art record. I bet this alienated some fans. NO guitar noise! Very minimal. Extremely loud tribal rhythms accompanied by pianos, organs, twangy surf guitars, and distorted vocals. Some of the songs have melodies; others just have moods. There's another terrific deconstruction - this one of the Guess Who's "American Woman" (done tribal/industrial!). Other highlights? The violin on "Creep In The Cellar," the cool whipping guitar drone on "Whirling Hall Of Knives" (is that an E-bow? What the hell is he doing to make that noise?), and three of the greatest screams ever laid on vinyl in "Sea Ferring."

It's not as good as it could be, though. In fact, "Strangers Die Everyday," "Waiting For Jimmy to Kick," "Mark Says Alright," and the reprise of "Creep In The Cellar" are pretty empty and pointless. Nice enough background music, but not too eventful. Maybe that's the point. That's why I gave it a 7. Truly a departure for them. Atypical. That's a good word. Let me use it again. Atypical. You know what another good word is? Asspipe. I'm real fond of the word asspipe.

Reader Comments

jltichenor@earthlink.net (James L. Tichenor)
Wow, I guess this was a weird place to start with Butthole Surfers, but I did. I mean, of course I've heard Electric Larryland which is a godamn farce, but this is the early Surfers, y'know, the stuff that kicks ASS! Strangely enuff, this is the one that was recommended to me as a good place to start with them, don't ask me why. This stuff is just plain weird! And I like it! I don't know if I'd completely agree with you Mark, when you say "no" guitar noise. Very little yes, but I hear some low twangy tunings in some of those songs, buried under a wall of sound, but they are there. Of course, I haven't heard their other stuff yet so compared to that this is nothing. Whatever, I agree with you on that 8 there, cuz there are moments that drag there. I happen to think that last track is fucking brilliant though (I'm too lazy to actually go upstairs and find the name). The way they recorded this record is just as brilliant as what they played.

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
It may indeed be an "art" record, but in my opinion some of their most beautiful stuff ever is here. Yes, the Buttholes can be beautiful, very beautiful in fact. Violins, pianos, keyboards, what have you, are all implemented here and run through the destructo meat-filter that is the Butthole Surfers aesthetic. The song where there is confusion over whether there is an E-Bow on it (I'm drawing a blank on the name right now) is one of the fucking greatest things I've ever heard. That guitar noise, whatever it is, is incredible. Don't deny this album. It's no more inaccessible than Locust Abortion Technician (probably even less so), and it's one of the coolest most fascinating art-psychelica-trash-punk records ever.

9/10

jfiero1@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
I once tried to write an article on the Butthole Surfers for my highschool newspaper. They would've printed it, I just wouldn't have been able to say the band's name . . . or any of the album titles. Granted, this would've made no more sense than any given record review in Playboy, Spin, or the puzzlingly venerable Rolling Stone, but I was aiming a little higher than written name dropping and giving my hipster buddies handjobs (the way I see it, a typical Spin review goes something like this: "You know this band only my friends have heard of called the Sticky Dingleberries? They sound exactly this other band only I've heard of, called Shard of Glass In My Urethra."). Anyway, I gave Rembrant Pussyhorse an awfully low grade in that long-lost article, but now I've seen the error of my ways. This album is unique. Imagine that! A unique record. Most of it was, apparently, the band just dicking around with a tape recorder going, and it does sound off the cuff, but I can get lost in the mood and groove to even the slightest tracks on here. "Creep In the Cellar" and "Whirling Hall of Knives" are especially good; very intriguing departures from the typical Surfer noise, and the rest of the album, in fact.

tom@swirly.com
That song with the ebow or whatever it is, is indeed "Whirling Hall of Knives" and is one of the truly great trance songs ever.

Notice the intense harmonics on the bass that appear *higher* than the guitar part... it appears just as clearly on bootlegs. Amazing.

It's a crying shame the Buttholes do that old material so rarely in their increasingly rare live shows.

Anyway, I'd rate that album 8-1/2 except that the CD also has Creamed Corn from the Socket of Davis for free, which bumps it easily to 9+.

(Oh, and if anyone has lyrics to "Whirling Hall of Knives", do let me know, it's staple of my live solo show but I have to sing it wordlessly as I can't make the album lyrics out...)

Jcjh20@aol.com
Ambient and atmospheric compared to their other records. This stuff is quiet, and sometimes even pretty, as opposed to previous stuff like "The Shah Sleeps..". "Creep In The Cellar" is my favorite song on here, and the "American Woman" cover is better then the damn original! Well, i never liked the original much anyway, but this cover rules! An 8, cuz Mark is right, some of these songs are kinda go-nowhere-ish.

mustang@islandnet.com (Chris Lawrence)
There seems to be some confusion over what the "E-bow" harmonic drone effect on "Whirling Hall of Knives" is... it's not an E-Bow, but an A/DA Flanger... check out my Butthole Surfers tab site for further explanation: http://www.islandnet.com/~mustang/1401/index.html

soul_crusher77@hotmail.com (Mike K.)
This is the only actual copy of a pre-Independent Worm Saloon Butthole Surfers album I've been able to secure, though I burned Hairway To Steven in desperation, and Double Live because it was right there on their website and I like free stuff. My copy also includes the Cream Corn ep, which is sort of odd because someone commenting on the ep itself said it was on their copy of Psychic Powerless. Anyway, there aren't a lot of actual songs here, but the few there are are really good, and the mood numbers are a bit less memorable, but still awfully neat.. And actually I do find Perry quite memorable, partially because of that neat circusy keyboard line, and partially just because as far as I can figure the entire song just exists to mock the accent and peculiar vocabularly of some english guy they know in an oddly hillarious manner. Also, last month on halloween I needed some backup music and thus whipped together a tape of the spookiest sounding things I had around at the time, and "strangers die everyday" actually makes quite good haunted dungeon music. It got overshadowed by "the myth of syssiphus" though. I'd never actually sat through the whole thing, and initially just chose it for it's "night on bald mountain"-esque main theme, but the thing scared the bejesus out of everyone, particularly the part with the random percussion poundings and screaming. If nothing else, Rick Wright could have a lucrative career in scoring horror movies.

This record kind of shows the band's knack for coming up with weird studio tricks in the lowest tech way possible, and often by accident. I read somewhere that they were actually using tape that had been left in the studio by a country band that got kicked out before them, and even though they thought they wiped out all the channels, that backwards violin popped up from out of nowhere in "creep in the cellar", and they just kept it in the song. And I'm glad they did, because it fits in perfectly while completely diverging from the chord sequence at just enough random places to catch you off your guard. Good album, but I liked Hairway To Steven better.

For some reason I never went through with it, but a sick part of me has always wanted to mislabel their cover of "american woman" as Lenny Kravitz's, just so people who actually liked that damn thing would recognize the initial riff, then be confused and annoyed by the noisy industrial drums, yoko ono through a megaphone vocals, and Jimi Hendrix played at the wrong speed guitar leads. The furthest I ever got was mislabeling deicide songs I'd never actually heard with titles like "kill the christian" as Creed rarities.

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
My favourite Butthole Surfers record. Every Hallowe'en I dig it out and blast it through my porch to frighten children. No one ever comes to my house. And NO FUCKING WAY is "Strangers Die Everyday" 'pointless'!! NO WAY! MARK IS WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRNG.

stevenjules@xtra.co.nz
Where's Paul Leary? I just don't get art as music, hell, I don't even look at the album cover (oh, you slay me). Lets face it, you don't look at the mantelpiece, when your stoking the fire (oh your so funny). Whoa, they released this, "Cream Corn" and "Another Mans Sac" all in hazy 1985. Amazing! The three are so unalike (is that a word?) One of this debonair young sportsmans (me) favorite buttholes songs is on here (Relax, I've got about twenty) "Perry" (it's about being a Butthole Surfer) and I like The Guess Who's "American Women" (Man, we love THE GUESS WHO) Went on this road trip, and after about 100 miles, I was hanging out for some music, so looked around on the back seat and found The Guess Who's "Greatest Hits" played it like 437 times, and what about "No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature"? cool song, easily as good as James Taylor and early Neil Diamond. Can you turn down "Cherub" I'm trying to write. Watched some ice hockey and the GAME broke out! Check out the consistently good Meat Puppets "No Joke" (dam I love this cute little three piece) Paul Leary wipes the floor with "Inflatable" Best song on the album, along with "Taste of the Sun"

Comment: Find a copy with the "Cream Corn" E.P attached, then, even "comb" sounds good.

My rating is (with Cream Corn) the art album with 4 extra songs that you just have to have of 9's (for me thats a high 9)

My rating is (without Cream Corn) the art album that doesn't have the 4 extra songs you just have to have of 7's (for me thats a low7)

steve.robey@mindspring.com
The first psychedelic rock album from the Butthole Surfers. Lots of great atmosphere. Someone mentioned it must have alienated some fans due to its subdued, quiet nature, but how many fans did they actually have at this time? Maybe a few. So they probably alienated at most about 250-300 Austin residents. But I'm sure they got over it. The rest of em probably loved it.. So no big loss.

There's a few songs here among my favorites: "Sea Ferring" has a loping melody with just the right dosage of Gibby's shrieking. "Perry" has yet another swinging rhythm - with hammond organ this time! Eat your heart out, REM! And I've always loved the low-key instrumental "Mark Says Alright". Kind of like film music. Most of the rest of the songs are kinda ehhh to me though. I never liked "American Woman" very much, so the remake here is kinda unwelcome in my house, despite the fact that it sounds nothing like the original. (And by the way, Lenny Kravitz, STAY OUT OF MY HOUSE!). So in a low-key way, the Butthole Surfers have entertained us once again with their unpredictability. A nice album - not fantastic though. 8/10

warehouse@trafficent.com (c.l.)
"Mark Says Alright" is yet another of their allusions to Grand Funk Railroad (Grand Funk has a song of the same name on a live album, and actually it's a pretty catchy guitar jam). They of course also named their dog "Mark Farner", and made references to Grand Funk during the interview sections of their music video "Blind Eye Sees All."

muggwort@netzero.net
Ugh, this one I like loads less than "Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac." The mad, disgusting creativity of the first album seems to have largely worn off leaving some catchy, rather normal songs. I like "Creep in the Cellar" quite a bit but probably only for that GORGEOUS fiddle line. "Sea Ferring" leaves me pretty cold. I would rather listen to the Fall or Fugazi or something. The deconstruction of "American Woman" is a nifty idea but I don't enjoy actually listening to it. I feel the same way about all the same songs until "Perry" which is a cool, perverse, quotable awesome groove. I enjoy the vibe a lot, reminds me of a more ironic PJ Harvery. I also like "Mark Says Alright" that tiger roar is very sexy.

"Rembrant Pussyhorse" has three songs which I can wholeheartedly endorse and a bunch that bore me. It's also depressing because it seems to reveal the BH surfers as more of a gimmick than a legitimate artistic endeavor. As their career progressed I feel like the band became more and more of a joke and less of anything worthy of consideration. That's pretty depressing! oh welll, I'd give this album a 5.

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
Mike K's deicide/creed joke is hilarious! Thank You !!! Muggwort sounds like he'd be boring at parties, holding forth to rapt patrons about his superior intellect and knowledge of music. Get over yourself!

Mr. Prindle, I forgive you for not liking Perry. That, Whirling Hall of Knives and Strangers Die Everyday are reat creepy stuff. Creep In The Cellar rules.

The DVD "Blind Eye Sees All" was made around this ime, I think. If you can buy one on Amazon, using Prindle's link of course, please do so. You can get it for less than $15 I think. Well worth the reasonable expenditure necessary.

Add your thoughts?

* Locust Abortion Technician - Touch and Go 1987. *
Rating = 10

This is the one. My god, what an unholy racket! The concept this time is frigged-up blues metal. A semi-cover of Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf" starts it off rather uneventfully, but then it really gets weird. Little bits of songs, sludge guitar recorded at the wrong speed, thrash parody, Indian music (recorded off of a record, I'd wager), a sexual assault nightmare taped off of talk radio and tacked onto a frighteningly heavy bass line, more industrial noise, and ONE semi-normal rock song, "Human Cannonball." I really can't praise it enough. It might be the most enjoyable, least accessible record ever put out by any band that was later signed to a major label. A great party record. Wonderful album cover, too. Definitely the pinnacle of their career. And, although I personally am straight edge positive youth, rumor has it that if you take acid and put this on your turntable, it'll scare the James Bond film out of you.
Reader Comments

mattro@cyberspace.com
I can't explain to anyone... friends, family, clergy... why this is one of my all time favorite albums. But I know it is. They're all looking at me funny.

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
This one has been way overrated, in my opinion. Yes, I do like it alot, but it has a bunch of flaws. First off, it's really short. About thirty minutes long. Secondly, the one normal rock song "Human Cannonball" seems stilted and average to me. It's decent but nothing really exciting. The thrash parody also seems sophomoric. What we have here is about five INCREDIBLE trash-grunge honky tonk death-wishers (among them the deservedly legendary "22 going on 23", both "Graveyard"s and a couple more that i'm drawing a blank on right now), a quite beautiful, disorienting Indian music song, and a decent Black Sabbath cover surrounded by the few weak spots I mentioned earlier. What's good is GREAT, and what's not good is just "ehhh". I enjoy listening to it, but it beats me how this thing gets called the band's greatest record ever.

8/10

kurten@swafo.com
The song "Kuntz" is not Indian music, as implied in your review, although upon first listening to it, I thought something similar. An ex-girlfriend who was half-Thai heard it at my house one time and immediately recognized the language as Thai. Her Thai not being too great, she borrowed the cd to play for her mother who was born and raised in Thailand. Her mom had a hard time understanding all of it (cuts in the song?) but she did say the basic premise of the song was an "itch" that "won't go away....the itch never leaves (etc)". I guess she was kinda annoyed at the song and refused to listen to it more than once. The chorus (the part that sounds like "cunts" over and over) is "itch"

Not terrribly important, just thought you might be interested.

Landcruiser96@aol.com
This is a FUN, FUN album!!! I'll played it for some friends of mine that were not acquainted with the B-hole Surfers and they just happened to be on an acid trip at the time. They laughed hysterically throughout the entire album and said that's it's the funniest and craziest shit they'd ever heard!! Welcome to world of the Butthole Surfers, folks. I really dig the Sabbath tune....it's absolutely mortifying. They also did they're best experimental noise on this one, truly a masterpiece. 10/10.

jfiero1@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
On first listen, LAT sounded like a refinement of the sound collage goings one from Rembrant Pussyhorse. Now it seems like less of a refinement, and more a total perversion. The only track on this monstrosity that sounds even remotely sane is "Human Cannonball." Sure, "Pittsburgh to Lebanon" is pretty much the blues Buttholes style, but Jesus, what an ugly racket it makes! Everything else, even the songs that vaguely resemble, y'know, SONGS, are loud and psychotic enough to push all but the most adventurous listener away. Speaking of pushing listeners away, I fantasize frequently about being Ricky Martin for just one show, instructing my back-up band to play "U.S.S.A." extra slow, shouting the vocals myself through a megaphone, and watching all the little boys and girls in the audience start screaming and crying. Am I sick?

jcjh20@aol.com
One fucked up album, but is definatly a classic. The "Sweet Leaf" parody is hilarious, "Human Cannonball" is a great rock song, "Pittsburg To Lebannon" is a butthole's style Blues song, and "22 Going On 23" is probably my favorite Butthole Surfers song. I love that distorted, extremely heavy bass sound. I agree with Zach English that the thrash parody is kinda dumb, but i still agree with the 10.

prettyinplump@bikinikiller.fsnet.co.uk
an itch that won't go away, that would just about explain this album because its the best fucking itch i've ever had!!! this album is my favourite 22 going on 24 has to be my favourite song and well they all are my favourite but the buttholes really don't care and thats what makes all their albums so cool.!

Muggwort@aol.com
Er....i don't really like the butthole surfers locust abortion technician much to me it just sounds like degenerate noise and I don't have anything against degenerate noise it's just that I get the feeling after listening to it that I could have made this, it's really only a collage of weird noises, but at least in my opinion generic weird noises. although i absolutely love the beginning of sweet loaf, with the corny syth bubblying and the hilarious lines of "Young boy: daddy what does what does regret mean. Man: the funny thing about regret is that it is better to regret something you have done, instead of something you haven't done, and if you see your Mom this weekend tell her SATAN!!!" Ha! Ha! Ha! I think it honestly deserves a 7/10.

jAsOn
I was in thailand. and I think there is a valid argument for itchy cunts...cuase there are some manky thai bitches. I was in a strip bar in Bangkok when the devil himself approached me as a thai chinese prostitute.

her eyes glowed blue and evil and I couldn't understand a word she said to me.....and I clearly understood every thing she said to me. It sounded something like english that you couldn't quite make out but at the same time you saw images of darkness and pain in your thoughts. I listened to the devil for about 15 minutes and watched some women shoot darts out of their pussy's at balloons across the room. Then a woman came out and opened a beer bottle with her pink special purpose. As blood ran down her leg i slipped the devil a 100 baht peice of money (2 dollars) and ran the fuck out of there only to end up in the chinese district at 3 morning in a market ....on one side fake rolex watches and on the other a fat german man walking holding hands with a 10 year old boy. I took a cab back to pra suh ri near koh san road and slept.... I had dreams of buhdist monks that were trying to keep a black wind from stealing my soul. I loved Locust aborion technician....it was my favorite in 6th grade...

brian_zuelke@hotmail.com
Remarkable... I'm left nearly speechless at the sludge and noise pouring out of my speakers. Goofy, frigthening, humourous, demented... genius. The only gripe I have about this album is that it's too SHORT! I could easily listen to three times the amount of music the Surfers put on this record. I have also purchased Hairway to Steven along with Locust Abortion Technician, and I believe it would have been better if they had waited on the release of LAT and just put the two records together on one double LP. That would've killed! Nonetheless LAT is a wonderful record, in no small way due to Gibby's vocal effects, the tape manipulations, the sludgy guitars, and the double-drumming of Coffey and Nervosa.

There are a few things that have been said in the reviews so far that I would like to counter. First off, Sweat Loaf is a wonderful song, and I don't understand where Mr. Prindle gets the idea that it is "uneventful". On Sweat Loaf, the Gibbytronix truely shine through on this track. Secondly, Mugwort's statement "I get the feeling after listening to it that I could have made this" is inane. Sure, other people could make this stuff, but they didn't and the Butthole Surfers did; and there are few records I've heard that come close to the insanity of Locust Abortion Technician.

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
my friend's 6 year old daughter always wants him to put this record on because she likes the clowns. I agree with Zach that it's kind of overrated, but holy shit it's got some great songs on it.

stevenjules@xtra.co.nz
Ah, Butthole Surfers & Black Sabbath have the same initials. Don't be fooled though, there is quite a few...difficult...songs...to...listen...to in here. There's lots of studio noodling between proper songs, although these are merely there to set you up for the next barrage of noise, Brian Eno says it best, these are merely there to set you up for the next barrage of noise. If we have a criticism, (and its only minor) its that, this has a slightly detached feel to it. And I watch 5 soap operas a day and when he comes home he says, is this all you've got to do all day, watch T.V. and I love to travel, and he says, he's done all the travelling he wants to do, while he was in the service.

Comment: Essential, play loud and often, but be careful, some of these songs aren't that great, you have to be really stoned to enjoy them (Whats that, a positive you say)

My rating is the Joe public of 10's

undead@spittingonyourgrave.com
First off -- great review...right on the money. Second -- what sort of tool writes:

"I don't have anything against degenerate noise it's just that I get the feeling after listening to it that I could have made this, it's really only a collage of weird noises, but at least in my opinion generic weird noises."

Actually, the tool is Muggwort. Here's my issue: have you ever tried to make noise Muggwort? Or are you speaking out of your ass? Note -- that might be a really cool noise. I have never heard anything that even remotely resembled this album, and this is after absorbing hundreds of "noise" releases. The Butthole Surfers created something in Locust Abortion Technician that is without peer or imitation.

Moreover, composing a noise album is much more difficult than Muggwort apparently thinks. Before I moved to NYC, there was this creepy goth-child-molester-drunk that would pass out tapes of his noise experiments in front of the 9:30 club. This stuff was worse than ANYTHING I have ever heard, before or since. Not extreme, annoying, destructive or any other 'evil' adjective one may think up. This sucked but it doesn't fit Muggwort's description. What the hell is a 'generic' noise album? Upon reflection, I hope each and every reader understands that this is a meaningless descriptor, much like 'natural flavor.'

I imagine Muggwort here merely wants to give some support to his not liking LTA. Hey, you don't like it? That's fine. We know you have no taste. I posit that Muggwort puts the money where his little typing fingers are and submit a noise album for Pindle to review. Let's hear the results. Show us how easy it is to create a generic noise record. I predict a 3.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Jesus, I just remembered the first and only time I saw the Surfers live. They were HEADING a bill featuring Stone Temple Pilots and the Flaming Lips! At Atlanta's Lakewood Amphitheatre! Fuckin' A. At the time, I hated STP and was mostly indifferent to the Lips (though "One Million Billionth of a Millisecond on a Sunday Morning" was one of my favorite songs - and they played it!), but the Surfers were riding high on their "Independent Worm Saloon" album and somehow got the headlining slot. Too bad most of the concertgoers were mainly STP fans (who loved their current Pearl Jam ripoff album, "Core"...by the way, to give credit where credit is due, I loved later stuff that STP did.... they might be one of the finest singles bands of the 90s).

But on to what many consider to be the Surfers' most intense statement of purpose, Locust Abortion Technician. Wow. This album will melt your mind if you're not ready. And it's up there with my favorites by the Surfers, but falls short of being my absolute favorite (see my comments on "Hairway to Steven"). It feels like a series of unrelated vomitings - not the seamless (excepting "Julio Iglesias") song cycle that "Hairway" is. Sure, individual moments are awe-inspiring ("Pittsburgh to Lebanon", "22 Going on 23", "Graveyard"), but it's too choppy to be as effective as it could have been. 8/10

Tellyrubes@aol.com
Yes, it could be argued that this is their best. I think from a production standpoint anyway, it's right up there. I would give it a 9/10. It should also be mentioned that THIS period of the Surfers live was the BEST. Graveyard fucking ripped live, as did Sweat Loaf. I mean without a doubt, anyone who saw these guys live during this particular stage in their career, will attest to the fact that their live sets were INSANE. They were also testing out new material that would later appear on Hairway. Very little can compare with a live Psychedelic Jam during this phase of the Surfer legacy.

Again, with the Butts records, it's really hard to rank the first 5 or so. They're all brilliant.

Also, stop dissing Mark Says Alright. That tune fucking rules.

thepublicimage79@hotmail.com
I don't know if this is the Surfers' absolute tip-top best as an album - it's hard for me to choose between the first four albums/EP's - but it's hands-down the best as a unified sonic trip. Down, down, down we go, to the fiery wastes of Hell as dictated from our five loveable Texas acidheads. The Sweet Leaf parody isn't so hot, and "Weber" should have been longer, but everything else is like doing aerobics in a septic tank. Sludgy, mah friends, except on the one normal song, "Human Cannonball," the effects-warped Thai pop song, and the noise loops of "Hay." With those exceptions, unremitting sludge. Both "Graveyards" could kill your parents, "22 Going On 23" is fucking terrifying, "U.S.S.A." should be used in Guantanamo torture chambers, "Pittsburgh To Lebanon" is heavier-than-Blue-Cheer blooz rawk and "The O-Men" is about as funny a parody of thrash as has ever been conceived. Yeeeeeee-hawh! My problem is that I wish there were about three more evil sludge monsters so we could really have: A) a full album (for all but a couple of bands, 32 minutes means you're strapped for material), B) more actual songs (yes, it's an amazing sonic trip, but I'm kinda hankering for more heavy riffing - e.g., more Leary guitar anarchy and more Pinkus fuzz-bass), and C) more original songs (these guys are masters of heavy...why the fuck didn't they just jam out a couple of new grooves for a little longer and fuzz everything into next week? It really wouldn't have taken much effort).

However, possibly the greatest Butthole Surfers moment is the "BBQ Movie" that they made and released right around this time. It is, simply, one of the most absurd, hilarious, surreal, and off-putting short movies ever made. Imagine a home movie of a family going to visit Texas...and imagine that home movie going, in the understatement of the month, stupendously wrong. Just unbelievable, and truly fucking funny. Twisted as hell, but absolutely fucking hilarious. No, they don't mean no harm at all.

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
I really love the surfers, and this is their most um.... 'challenging' release ever. Fully half of this album is torture. I love it, but can only pay it once in a while. It's hard to believe they recorded the tuneful Hairway album right after this. A real room-clearer.

peace, Mark

Oh, and Muggwort DOES seem to be a cooler-than-thou elitist. Get over yourself, dude.

Add your thoughts?

Hairway To Steven -Touch And Go 1988.
Rating = 9

Thus far, their last real stroke of genius. This time, the goal was to create well-written, well-played, and well-produced SONGS - pop, rock, blues, psychedelia, folk, etc.; the strange thing is - they're completely successful, but this band's idea of what constitutes a "normal song" is so bizarre, it's still probably the most creative (and, well, WEIRD!) album to be released in 1988 by anybody! The songs don't have listed titles (just drawings), but man overboard, do they ever have MELODIES! And truly godlike (as in Hendrix) guitar work.... Lots of experimenting with studio effects, but contained within a clean and "normal" framework. (Paul Leary deserves to be considered a modern guitar god. Beats me why he isn't.)

Trust me. This is an amazing record. A completely different attitude than the last one, but just as exciting, and even somewhat accessible! Funny album cover, too. And don't be tricked by the slow vocals on track one. Play it on 33, not 45. Or 16, if you have that speed. Some do! I've never seen a 16 record, but my dad's old stereo had that speed option. I'm not kidding! Perchance some day I'll make a 16 record. That could be my contribution to modern society! Imagine how many friggin' songs you could put on a 16 record! Several, I'd wager!!!!!! At least ten!!!!!

Reader Comments

BRYGUY123@webtv.net (Brian Primosch)
THIS MIGHT NOT BE THEIR BEST ALBUM BUT IT IS MY FAVORITE ITS ODDLY PSYCHEDELIC. EVEN IF YOU JUST LIKE THE B.H.S. A LITTLE TINY BIT THIS ALBUM IS WORTH GETTING. IT'S GOOD SHIT.

ltg8986@garnet.acns.fsu.edu (Lucas Grzybowski)
I'll go right ahead and say that, yes, this is the BEST BHS album. RP, LAT, PO'd, and PPAMS are all great and timeless, but Hairway is the Mack. 'Jimi' (track 1) and 'I saw an xray of a girl passing gas' (track 5?) are primo-melt-your-face-off jams, and the syringe song makes me pee in my pants. Get this album; love it, stroke it, and frigging marry it, because they ain't got no more like it . . . and they ain't as good as they used to be anymore. (Although I've STILL never seen them live, I hear they still bring down the house on top of all the trendy "Who was in my room..." goons by playing a couple new tracks, then they play a bunch of stuff from Psychic.... I've missed them THREE TIMES!!!)

InMyEyes82@aol.com (Zach English)
Woo hoo! Fantastic album. THIS is the one that proved to me that the Surfers were one of the most creative, original, wacked out bands of the last few decades. Strong guitar work, exciting vocals, and a just plain rocking rhythm section weaves its way through this baby, and the hooks are here in spades (though thankfully it's not TOO hooky, which might have been a bad thing). The opening track is half distorto-wacky grunge as found on the previous record, half beautiful acoustic stylings that might have been found on Rembrant Pussyhorse. And Mark, you're right, I have no idea why Paul Leary is not a coveted indie guitar hero along the lines of the far-inferior J. Mascis. His stuff is so damn original. If there's a weak spot on the album, it's the fact that perhaps there's not ENOUGH experimentalism, thought that is a small qualm indeed, because these songs are still some of the weirdest out there.

10/10

jfiero1@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
It took me awhile to get past the subdued nature of this album and realize how great the songs are, but once I did . . . oh man. Not much more can be said. A ten.

soulserpnt67@snowcrest.net (Rick Stone)
man, i dont give a rats ass about accessiblity (fuck who gives a shit) or any bullshit jackoff rolling stone critic crap either. i listen to this album and i KNOW Paul fuckin Leary is a GENIUS....i mean?? you actually expect people to GET THIS? most people are steers. Gibby sounds so cool....the recording, the madness. Ive scared the holy fuck out of so many "Hardcore" rockheads w/this thing it just has to be one of my all-time favorite goddamn peices of music. the guitar effects alone are worth more than all the Korny Rap-rock bands in existence. too bad they didnt leave cherub to be recorded w/this batch of songs....it seems to fit here better. when i first heard this album i almost cryed....finally a band that put the ACID back in ACIDROCK. Hendrix must have been standing by close to Learys amps while this one was recorded....muttering...."play that funky music white boy" lol.....10 stars

Jcjh20@aol.com
Some truely amazing guitar work on this album, preferably "Jimi". It's also nice to hear the 'Surfers using some acoustics on this album to! The folky singalong "I Saw An X-Ray Of A Girl Passing Gas" is hilarious but catchy! I also love "Ricky", "Rocky" and the aptly titled "Fast". Accessable and hooky album, but of course not without the Buttholes' trademark, weird, psychadelic charm of course. The best follow-up to Locust Abortion Technician the band could of ever offered. I agree with the 9!

axelbank@btinternet.com (David Axelbank)
THIS IS HOW I FEEL. I have followed them since 1985.

Talking about the early Butthole records in 2002 does not really convey how truly ground breaking the Buttholes were when they were making the Alternative Tentacles stuff, Psychic...Powerless, Rembrandt Pussyhorse, Cream Corn, Locust Abortion Technician, even Hairway to Steven). Along with Sonic Youth and possibly Big Black, the Buttholes Surfers are by intelligent and knowledgeable music fans and critics, one the great under appreciated bands of the last forty years. Their sound has been diluted and adopted by so many of the current stable of commercial 'dude'-rock bands.

One last thing, although certainly the drugs fuelled them along, most of their sounds comes from the fact that they are so damn intelligent and it shows in their records. Stupid didn't record 'Sea Ferring' or 'Boiled Dove'.

ButtaJ51570@aol.com
Hairway definately deserved the 10 man... Topping Locust Abortion in lyrical complexity, therein lies the finest example of the bands cathartic genius. Plus, if you have a friend in the midst of a bad acid trip... this'll bring'm back quicker than LAC (trust me).

ojdgjnfb8437@yahoo.com.au (Lou Siffer)
Jesus, this is one hell of an album. "Jimi," "I Saw An X-ray Of A Girl Passing Gas," "John E. Smokes" are all classic Surfers' junk. The one problem I have with this album is that it's "normal" compared to Rembrant Pussyhorse & Locust Abortion Technician. There's some truely magnificent songs on here, helped by smooth production, flawless playing and the classic Surfers' potty mouth, but seem tame against the previous albums. Luckily, it's still out there, probably crazier than Psychic... Powerless... as well as anything else at the time and probably since then too.

I'll give this one the 10, LAT a 9.5, and RP a 9. Both are a lot crazier and more experimental (LAT in particular) than Hairway, but the second half of RP lags and the middle of LAT is a bit weak. This one is solid throughout.

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
this MIGHT OF BEEN my favourite Butthole record but I like Rebrandt's "theme" of creepiness better - this one is more a collection of songs. BUT THAT'S LIKE SAYING THE WHITE ALBUM IS JUST A COLLECTION OF SONGS. Yeah, I agree with everyone, 'Jimi' and 'John E. Smoke' are fantastic FANTASTIC - the real psychedelic music. Dunno what to call the R.E.M. soundalike (not accusing anyone, see my comments on the first EP) "Well all of mah friends, babe-y" but that's the song that made me buy this album and consequently get the rest of 'em.

galleyian@mac.com
So far this is the only Surfers album I posses, (bought a few years back on the impact of that mutant cover shot), and on the strength of this record I'm going to have to hunt the earlier albums down. Totally barmy. At first I couldn't tell if it had been mastered wrong as 'JImi' (as you seem to know it by) sounds completely wrong. The vocals pitch all over the shop and even the drums sound slower than they ought. 'John E. Smokes' is very funny, (even though I haven't caught even a quarter of the lunacy.) The penultimate track, (the deer picture), is so odd I can see my mind unravelling further whilst trying to figure whatever it's about. A more knowledgeable friend has a solo album by the guitarist called 'Bongwater', but I guess you know that anyway?

The run out groove here seems to read, "Suck my pee, pee." I won't, if they don't mind.

themightygreegor@yahoo.com
I used to have a 16rpm record! It was Spike Jones, a zany guy from the 30s or something. Google his name; I can't remember or be asked to describe the crap people found funny back then.

Anyway, you'd think that 16rpm would allow you to make a pretty small record, but you'd be wrong to expect it to be. Small, I mean. This thing was a big as a wheel from a Mack truck. It had to be at least 24" in diameter. it seemed to have been meant for a radio station to just put on and let go for a few hours, flip, and go for another long-ass while. VERY lo-fi! Thought you'd be interested to hear about it.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Just heard the verdict about Michael Jackson: he's innocent! What, no cheers? Mixed feelings, have you? Don't worry: That freak don't know his ass from a hole in the ground. A master criminal he is not! But the announcement of his verdict does make a serendipitous occasion to write in my thoughts about the BUTTHOLE SURFERS' FINEST ALBUM HAIRWAY TO STEVEN.

This was indeed the last "great" album they put out. If you're a fan of psychedelic rock, you'll probably like this the best just as I do. Song titles are mostly known via word of mouth (only cartoons of pissing horses and girls' assholes denote the songs on the release itself), but over time we've come to know these cryptic tunes as:

1) "Jimi" - not to be confused with the obscure '60s guitarist of the same name. Shares some sonic characteristics with the noisier parts of "Third Stone From the Sun", before segueing into some nice acoustic folky number with bowling alley sounds in the background. Nice. AND IT LASTS TEN MINUTES.
2) "Ricky" - The snappy, art-punk number, and probably my favorite on the album. Listening to this again makes me wish Paul Leary would pick up his guitar again...
3) "I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas" - Coulda been a Camper Van Beethoven song. Nice psychedelic outro.
4) "John E Smoke" - This song is so amazingly unique. Some of that crap that Gibby spouts out almost as an afterthought (probably improvised, judging from differing concert versions I've heard) is just hilarious. And the addition of fake crowd noises to propel the emotion of the story is just genius.
5) "Rocky" - Another melodic rocker in the vein of #3 above. Nothing really new, but maintains the flow and mood of the album nicely. And it's a great song, by the way.
6) "Julio Iglesias" - This is really the only throwaway on the album. It's the kind of novelty piece you'd find on an earlier album like "Rembrandt Pussyhorse" - but it doesn't fit too well here.
7) "Backass" - Back to the acid-mood-pieces. Reprises the mood of the first section of "Jimi", with more impressive Paul Leary sqeals and noises, more Gibby screams... ANOTHER LONG ONE! OVER SEVEN MINUTES!
8) #8 I've seen referenced as either "Fast" or "Fart Song" - Either way, it's one of the coolest bass lines you'll ever hear, with some insane squirrelly lead guitar topped with some half-speed vocals (the return of the Locust Abortion Technician?). A great little tune that ends the album in about a minute and a half.

What can I say? It's my favorite Buttholes album, and I think it's Michael Jackson's favorite too.

warehouse@trafficent.com (c.l.)
By the time Hairway to Steven came out I gave up on them. It seems they'd lost their edge. All their early LPs were recorded on borrowed studio time while they were on their endless/homeless tour during the early 80's. By the time they put out "Hairway" they'd saved enough money to buy a house/studio in rural TX (Driftwood, TX.?), and it shows in their music: noodley homemade stoner nonsense, little or no edge to it.

As someone who was into the Surfers "back in the day" it used to confuse the hell out of me to see them headlining hardcore punk shows-- a huge throng of cookie-cutter punks slam-dancing ("moshing" the kids call it nowadays) to the slowest, most ridiculously dada-esque weirdness, complete with topless dancer and weird highway patrol film footage. But then, that just added to the entire weird vibe they portrayed. I think that was the greatness of the Surfers back then-- a kind of suicidal dedication to surrealism and dada grafted onto the punk aesthetic. A friend of mine saw them at Danceteria in NYC back then, and Gibby got so drunk he passed out for most of a long jam, and Paul had to come over and kick him awake to finish the song, and yet earlier in the same show they did "Moving to Florida" as tight and flawlessly as on the record. Dedication. Now they are just out to make money (god bless 'em), and the music just isnt very challenging, but those great moments can't last forever.

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
Not sure why Locust gets a 10 and this one a 9. My favorite album by the buttholes, and my 1st purchase of them. So very tuneful and melodic, with monster guitar throughout. Paul Leary IS a God, you are RIGHT Mr Prindle ! "Is It Mikey" from his "History Of Dogs" album is coolness incarnate! The same coolness that permeates "Something" from piouged and "Dog Inside Your Body" from IWS.

Hairway has a Pink Floyd Obscured By Clouds/Meddle effect on me. So pretty and creative and cool. Just like a warm sunny summers' day. An 11.

Add your thoughts?

Double Live Bootleg - Latino Buggerveil 1990.
Rating = 8

A sanctioned bootleg from the Hairway To Steven era, put out on the Butthole Surfers's own label. It's kinda hard to listen to, what with all the lo-fi noise between actual songs, but an interesting document, nonetheless. Say! I think I just subconsciously did something awfully clever! I was about to mention that they do a cover of R.E.M.'s "The One I Love," and what did I do? I used the word "document!" That's the album that "The One I Love" is on!!!! I'm subconsciously the most brilliant man alive!!!!! They also do a cover of Grand Funk Railroad's "Paranoid," and preview a couple of tracks that ended up being recorded for Pioughd and Independent Worm Saloon. Pretty cool. Really noisy. And the cassette version is a lot longer than the album version. Kinda like my penis. But then again, who doesn't?
Reader Comments

mattro@cyberspace.com
I still play this disc's version of "Psychedelic Jam" all the time. The tune also shows up on The Hole Truth... And Nothing Butt (another 'official' bootleg) but the version here has the best sound quality causing acute waves of nostalgia to overcome me and take me back to the place I first heard it... Union Street Station, Seattle, WA 1988. All my friends were on acid. I was the designated driver, but I didn't need hallucinogens for this show... The mutiple strobe lights (none in sync with its neighbor), the dry ice machine, weird films being played on the wall and on the band, a sweaty dancing woman wearing nothing but glitter... a contact high is enough under these circumstances, believe me. The show started with Gibby walking out of the smoke and up to the only visible microphone. He said "Y'all be cool now" and the band kicked into "Psychedelic Jam." The crowd seathed in rhythm with the music and the increasingly erotic naked lady on stage. Eventually she controlled us, it seemed. The crowd literally swayed in her direction as the sweat streamed down her body and the glitter gleamed. Many songs later, the crush of the audience actually BROKE the stage cancelling the show after only an hour. We were all dazed... experiencing a collective coitus interuptus. Or maybe it's just me.

Incidentally, Nirvana opened this show. No one had ever heard of them and they were subsequently booed for sucking. Boy do we feel foolish now.

mistersparkle@hotmail.com (Hector M.)
i think this album deserves at least one more eyeball. depending on my mood, i think this album is either second only to Locust Abortion Technician or better than Locust Abortion Technician. Double Live is that rarest of live albums, one that has versions of songs that are better than the originals. "Backass", "Hey", "Suicide", "Something", "Comb", "Paranoid", and "The One I Love" (heh) are all better here than on the original albums, and most if not all of the other songs are at least as good as the studio versions.

just as a side note, i really like the Velvet Underground. in case you were wondering.

jfiero1@lsu.edu (Joshua Fiero)
The only bootleg I ever got was a copy of this. I hope the Surfers aren't angry with me, but it was long out of print, and no way was I going to pay $150 for the sucker. Now you can get it for free online from the official website, and it's actually legal (www.buttholesurfers.com)! Double Live might well be the noisiest thing this extremely noisy band has ever done. I love it. Even songs that had no real appeal to me on the studio albums, I get something out of here. And the version of "Creep In the Cellar" is really, really good.

sutclif@istar.ca (Janet Sutcliffe)
This is what the Butthole Surfers must have been all about! I can only guess because I have never seen them live. The intro to sweatloaf is actually taken from the doors ContravesiaL The End lyrics. They seem to do takes on a lot of doors material 22 going on 23 seems like it could have some connection with Roadhouse Blues "...I'm 22 and don't mind dying..." I don't know.

Matt- Kurt Cobain aparently had some pretty close ties with Gibby, When Kurt was put in rehab Gibby busted him out, by helping him climb over some 10 foot fence. Anyways this is Definatly a classic BH surfers album.

amcquill@home.com (Andrew McQuillan)
To the guy who said Nirvana opened this show: To come full circle, the Butthole Surfers opened for Nirvana on their final tour in 1993-94. Fuck, I wish I saw Nirvana just once. My friend's brother saw one of those final North American shows with Nirvana/BHS. Least I still have a chance to see BHS. I have five of their albums, (LAT, HTS, IWS, THTANB, and Electriclarryland) I oughta see them if they tour.

brian_zuelke@hotmail.com
I would KILLLLL to see the actual performances these live cuts were taken from. This is the first Butthole Surfers recorded media I ever heard (because it was free on their website), and most of their studio stuff just hasn't lived up to the tracks on this live album. This is one of the best live albums I've ever heard, namely because I've read shitloads of material about the BH's in their hey day (80's) and the only sound I could imagine to approximate the chaos of their performances is THIS music. If anyone needs a good description of the BH's shows, read "Our Band Could Be Your Life".

Has anyone else noticed that Gibby is screaming "fag-got!" during the REM cover, instead of what Michael Stipe says which is something like "cry-out!"? We all know about Michael Stipe, right? Har, that Gibby! What a character.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
When I was first immersing myself into the world of the Butthole Surfers, albums like this really caught me up quickly. A very generous, good-sounding bootleg focusing on their finest material ("Locust" and "Hairway"), and budget-priced with 2 CDs to boot. But who is that mutant child on the cover? Eek. Poor guy/girl. Hope it's a doctored photograph or a costume or something. If you're a fan, seek this out immediately. You even get a good REM cover as a bonus! (The One I Love). 8/10

burnsj@lan.newpaltz.edu
Double Live was defnitely welcome when it came out. There were few live documents available of the BHS in their prime, though I have managed to track down many of the "bootlegs" that these songs were culled from.

I have been collecting live Butthole Surfers recordings fer many years and started the Butthole Surfers Live Discography (Live Disco fer short). It was originally a way to keep track of my collection, but it has grown into a behemoth of setlists, stories, factoids, etc. Ya can e-mail me if ya want one.

I am always looking fer new live recordings. hopefully, one day, folks will realize that the Butthole Surfers were the most important band of the 80's...THAN I'LL BE RICH, BEE-YATCH!...

seriously, go download this and make my original CD completely worthless...ummm...I mean...and enjoy the horror and the beauty.

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
I have this on cassette, too. Won it at Union Jacks down the shore at Seaside Heights. It has nice basement-style packaging, complete with disturbing cover "art". I think mine's numbered as well.

I recently rediscovered this one and it's a great historical perspective of the band. I wish I saw them then! The 1st time I saw them was for the 1st Lollapalooza tour. Oh well. Gibby came out in a white bra and fired a shotgun. I think he lit his hand on fire a couple times, too. King Coffey looked cool with shades and a 20 gallon hat on his bald head. I still have a newspaper clipping from the Newark Star-Ledger about the show, featuring a closeup of Leary's twisted face. Cool.

Shortly after I saw them in Asbury Park, where the PA thoroughly sucked, and they left after about half an hour.

Anyways, a highlight of this dual cassette collection is right before "Sweatloaf" where Gibby is creating cacaphony on his Gibbytronix and he says something like "yeah, that's sweet."

Add your thoughts?

Widowermaker ep - Touch And Go 1989.
Rating = 8

A little clean. Only one drummer now. Straightforward songs. No longer weird, they now sound sober even when singing the praises of "Booze, Tobacco, Dope, Pussy, Cars." It's still a really good record, though. "Bong Song" and "The Colored FBI Guy" have very well-written (but generic?) melodies, "B, T, D, P, C" has a hilarious synth-drum solo, and the side-long "Helicopter" is, well, fun, if not incredibly innovative.
Reader Comments

mattro@cyberspace.com
I love a band that makes up rumors about itself. "We lost our other drummer in Mexico." So what the hell was she doing in the movie Slacker?

GOCAPS24@aol.com
I liked Widowermaker, even though i paid $15 for it, thats about $3 a song.

claudezachary@address.com
This is the first dissapointing Butthole album, after the genius of Hairway it made it even more of a bummer. I Love all the songs live but they suck on the record for one reason. DRUM MACHINE HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Same deal w/Pioghed although thats their first album that has a few weak songs (No, I'm Iron Man, Something)

Jcjh20@aol.com
Heh this EP is still pretty damn funny. My buddy gave it to me for free and im glad he did. "Colored FBI guy" is a nice song. And "Booze, Tobacco, Dope, Pussy, Cars" is pretty damn funny, even that drum machine "solo". 8/10.

prettyinplump@bikinikiller.fsnet.co.uk
this is my favourite ep, all of the songs are briliant i bourght it for £6 and it was worth every penny :)

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
underrated by almost everybody on here?? There's NOTHING wrong with this record!

Add your thoughts?

The Hurdy Gurdy Man EP - Rough Trade 1990
Rating = 3

How to make a shitty record:

Record a near-identical cover version of the most nauseating hit ever composed by the prissiest and most incorrectly heralded songwriter of the late '60s/early '70s. Follow it up with a horde of atonal electronic racket and sound effects that repeat themselves over and over for nine and a half years. Finally, conclude the record with a fake-drum-based reggae/dance remix of the first song.

And voila! You have Madonna's "American Pie" single. Unfortunately, her next full-length album, Music, wasn't exactly a return to form, as you'll see below.

Add your thoughts?

Music - Maverick 2000.
Rating = 2


Hmm... How can I say this politely? Oh, I know! Madonna is a piece of shit.

Add your thoughts?

Pioughd - Rough Trade 1991
Rating = 7

I know I'm supposed to lower-case the title of this record, but I simply don't feel like it. Just be thankful I don't own any K.D. Lang records. I hated Pioughd (pronounced "P.O.'d) when it came out, but I've grown to enjoy the crap out of it. It's just a 45-minute dumb joke! There's a song called "Revolution" that's actually about Garry Shandling, "Hurdy Gurdy Man" again, a stupid country-western goof that just keeps reprising itself all over the album, an old BH classic redone as a Jesus And Mary Chain parody, a silly Black Sabbath joke, a re-working of a psychedelic jam from the live album, and one GREAT blues-rocker called "Blindman." I like it because it's fun to listen to. It's about as far from brilliant as anybody not in heavy rotation at K-ROCK is going to get, but it's still a lot of fun. Strong production, too.

Reader Comments

costanzo@mail.utexas.edu (Jason Costanzo)
These are all good reviews in my opinion. But I am writing concerning this one because it is the record that I find most interesting.. I find myself pulling this one out to listen more than the others. Maybe its because it reminds me of some weird circus I went to as a child or something. Here is a scary story... One of the most frightening dreams I've ever had was one in which I was seated near a stage and the buttholes were playing "Golden Showers" and I look up and jon sencio of mtv is sitting next to me wide-eyed and screaming in that loud, over-excited screechy voice of his about how this is his favorite song... Very trippy. Bye.

jbloom@newschool.edu (Jonathon Bloom)
I agree that this album is far from their best, but "P.S.Y." has got to be one of their best songs to date. Paul doesn't get to flaunt his guitar brilliance on it, and the production is sub-lame, but the lyrics and build-up...oh my god! The beauty of Gibby is that he sings lyrics that mean nothing...but he feels so strongly about them!

mattro@cyberspace.com
I remember reading Gibby comment that the band had gotten wasted with someone from Rough Trade and that sometime during the festivities the Surfers had signed a four record contract with the guy. I have no idea if this is true, but they did do this record, an extended "Hurdy Gurdy Man" single and two side projects simultaneously. Incidentally, the side projects (Paul Leary's History of Dogs and Jackofficers Digital Dump) would be worth reviewing here. Leary wrote every song and played every instrument on his disc and Gibby and Jeff Pinkus' load of all-synthetic crap is truly delicious.

Jcjh20@aol.com
Hilarious album, mostly a novelty album, but some great songs are on here as well "Hurdy Gurdy Man" (the vocals get annoying after a while though), "Blindman", "P.S.Y", "Revolution", etc. This album really confused me when i first heard it 6 years ago, but then i checked it out again a year ago and realized its quite a funny and enjoyable album. I give it an 8 overall.

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
I don't like this one at all. Owned it for a couple years than sold it. I just LOVE though as soon as they get on a bigger label the first thing they do is release the 2nd most unlistenable record of their career!

stevenjules@xtra.co.nz
Nope, "Lonesome bulldog" does nothing for me, it's cowboy music, COWBOY FOR CHRIST SAKE The only cowboy I like, is Dwight, don't I look awesome in my tight jeans and long legs, Yoakam and I have a hunch, he's not a real cowboy (only Guitars, Cadillacs, etc, aye Steve) Revolution part 1 and 2 is good though, as Michael Stipe says ''I don't know how they do it'' Gary Shandling, Jody Foster, Robin Givens, Gary Shandling! and "Golden Showers" is as good as The Stranglers "Golden Brown" (no it's better) so, if Soundgarden's blow arse "Badmotorfinger" can make it onto the turntable, then there's no reason this can't.

Comment: It's rude not to have it (an average buttholes album is better than no buttholes album, by a long shot) If you find Rocket Robin Hood's secondhand copy, grab it, and I didn't mean to offend anyone with that Soundgarden crack, but christ, it is blow arse.

My rating is the, it's a pootenth away from a 7 of 6's (still a creditable score)

steve.robey@mindspring.com
A baby step towards the majors. I'm in agreement with most of the comments written in so far - this album is pretty underwhelming, but quite a lot of fun, and not without it's share of classics. It sounds pretty lackluster with its bright production and underwritten songs, but that's mainly compared to the classic albums that preceded it. Actually, if someone could please go in and surgically remove all four versions of "Lonesome Bulldog" off of my CD (and, if time permits, "Hurdy Gurdy Man" as well), this would be a pretty damn good album. I still frequently listen to "Revolution Part 2" with its tasty lead guitar breaks; "Golden Showers" for it's neat marriage of carnival organ and fuzzy guitars; "P.S.Y." for the lengthy space jam; and "Blindman" for some good air-guitar practice.

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
When 1st purchased, not too crazy about, especially after the brilliant Hairway effort, but when rediscovered years later, found to be a cool record, especially since they don't record anymore. Damn. Maybe they'll reunite like The Police, do a charity like Pink Floyd, or d a farewell tour for 20 years a la The Who. I've never heard anything from Gibby Haynes' problem; if anyone's heard it please let me know Mr. Prindle !

Anyways, a fine but disjointed album. Seems kinda thrown together, mebbe for contract reasons. "Golden Showers" and the remake of "Something" are tres cool, and this is the last album to feature their noisy/fuzzy/heavy Jeff Pinkus period. Unless Widowermaker came out after this. I miss that sound. (sigh).

andrew.moncrieff@virgin.net
This is a silly one. In your review you call the album a "dumb joke" and I completely agree that this is how the album comes off as the sum of it's parts. But some of it's parts are great! At least four of the tracks are as good/serious (ha!) as any of the other Butthole Surfers classic songs.

"Revolution Pt.1" is just a silly/goofy intro for a couple of minutes, plenty listenable and moves seamlessly into part 2. "Revolution Pt. 2" is one of the best songs on piouhgd and the only one that could possibly have come off of their last full length. It's seven minutes long, half of that is an outro, but it's strummy hippy two chord melody is likeable and Paul's guitar line is great as always.

"Golden Showers" sounds like something possibly off of "Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac" except for the fuzz on the guitar and Gibby's lower pitched, 'Locust Abortion' vocal effect being employed. Nice horns and fun to listen to. One of the more memorable tracks.

"Blindman" is, as you pointed out, an awesome blues metal song. It sounds like something off of "Locust Abortion Technician" with a kick up it's arse. Maybe the best song? "I'm Iron Man" pretty pointless "endro" to the track.

"Something" Decent reworking of the classic Buttholes song to the melody of "Never Understand" by "The Jesus and Mary Chain". Nice guitar noise too!

"P.S.Y." I prefer this version to the one on Blind Eye Sees All and the Double Live LP....It's the only thing anywhere near as ambitious as something like "Jimi", it's very peaceful and psychdelic. Very underrated song.

"Barking Dogs" This piece of noise closes the album...it's pretty unmusical but always captivates me..It's 7:30 go pretty quickly when you listen to it.

So with these six pretty sweet songs present essentially a overlong but very good EP. The recent remaster of this album had the "Widowermaker" EP at the end (imho they should have put it at the beginning) which adds another four very good tracks onto the disc. I never owned the original release,but I can't imagine it sounds any better/different to this.

So to give balance to your review, this disc is very much worthwhile to a Butthole Surfers fan. The "Lonesome Bulldog" tracks, which constitute easily the biggest dumb joke on the album, are okay in their respective small doses when listening the album through, "Hurdy Gurdy Man" sucks but that song has always been terrible as you rightly said.

Really, this is a great release.

Add your thoughts?

Independent Worm Saloon - Capitol 1993.
Rating = 8

Engineered by John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin fame, this is pretty much a 70's heavy metal album produced as if it were a 90's pop album - with some actual pop and humor thrown in for diversity. It's not brilliantly frigged-up like the Buttholes of old, but, like Pioughd, it's really fun, and unlike Pioughd, it has an abundance of actual melodies!!! Plus, Leary's lead work (accompanied here by underground hero Helios Creed) is as impressive and idiosyncratic as always.

In fact, he does an amazing job on this album, kicking psychedelic noise butt on real winners like "Who Was In My Room Last Night?," "Clean It Up," and especially "Dust Devil." He is clearly the star of this album. It could have been boring, but not with Paul around. He took a bunch of fairly straightforward songs and made them really interesting and truly "Butthole," no matter how processed the sound. Amidst this mass of faceless post-Nirvana guitarists with NO style, it's awfully refreshing to listen to this guy. Talented, goofy, and violent are three traits that do a swell axeman make.

This is a really good rock and roll record, but if you've never heard the band before, you should probably start with some of their earlier stuff, from back when they were sleeping on floors, taking more drugs than Weiland, and churning out REALLY messed-up mindspew. Hey! I made up that word! Now I must continue to use it over and over again until other critics pick up on it and it begins to be used to describe the work of such talented artists as Alanis Morrisette and Bush. Man! That "One Hand In My Pocket!" The way her voice cracks at the end of every single goddamn line - that's some pigfuck mindspew, dude!

Reader Comments

hargromg@assembly.ca.gov (Matt Hargrove)
I think you rate Independent.... too high! I really don't like that album much compared with their other albums. It's like sausage--very processed, neatly packaged, tastes good for a bite or two before becoming boring and giving you heartburn. That's what I think about the new one too. Since Gibby started hangin' out with Alien Jorgenson they've been too worried about straightforward sonic-assault. I liked them better when they were a little more obtuse and Paul's guitar wasn't restrained into "riffs". I haven't given up though--they are still one of my favorite bands (even though they constantly play "Pepper" on the local "alternative" radio station, and my 52 year old aunt told me she liked the song!). I hope they make a ton of money on these last two albums, and then get back to recording some mind-bending Texas sized psychedelia.

belmondo@gis.net (Chris Chalifaux)
It took me over a year to get sick of this CD then again I may not be the sharpest knife in the draw, what the fuck! My theory on the "Wooden Song" is that it's Gibby's description of A.A. been there and done that, Why?..................WE DON'T KNOWWW "Who Was In My Room Last Night?" Alien abduction or too much Turkey? you decide I'm forty one and "Dust Devil" brings me back to the days when rock and roll did. I still enjoy it just as much as the earlier stuff (anybody have the lyrics to "Woly Boly").

When last in Boston Gibby started talking about the Jazz history of the City, I think I was the only one listening instead of moshing so he cut it short but (now he did not say this) I think these guys have invented their own style of music that I don't hear anywhere else. It's somewhere between Acid Rock and Jazz. Don't anybody even think of giving me shit about this it's my fucking opinion and I'm entitled to it!

Landcruiser96@aol.com
This album is not as good as their earlier stuff but still worth owning for the reeking power of Clean it Up. Play this song REAL LOUD for someone that has a bad hangover.....guaranteed to induce vomiting.

Jcjh20@aol.com
This album is not bad at all! Sure its not weird and more creative like their earlier shit, but this is some good shit right here still. "Dust Devil" is an awesome rocker that really cooks all the way threw and i especially love the little jam at the end. Paul Leary definatly knows how to handle his fuckin' guitar! "Strawberry", "Who Was In My Room Last Night", "Dispute On T-Shirt Sales", "Goofy's Concern", "You Dont Know Me"... all really great rockers. Only songs that i seem to skip all the time are "Dog Inside Your Body" and "Alcohol", which the former sounds like White Zombie (whom i dont like) er something and the latter is just too repetitive. "Clean It Up" and "Ballad Of Naked Man" show that the weirdness of this band hasnt been long gone as well. 8/10.

davidbruder@earthlink.net
I turn up the volume and quiet down the livingroom whenever I am lucky enough to catch the music video for "Dust Devil." This being spooky similar to Butthead's behavior after Mike Judge dug up "Who Was In My Room..." from the Empty-V (MTV) archives and played it for the dumbasses. Whoa check it out the Butthole Surfers!" "Yes!" "Kick ass" "Dude there is none higher." "OK shut up shut up." It took me quite some time before anyone could answer to, "You know what's that band from the nintendo commercial? Dun dun nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh dun dun nuh nuh dun nuh nuh? It was "Goofy's Concern" being played on TV. Yes TV. Blaring in the background of an advertisement no less. Did the band go pop with Independent Worm Salon? I think not but let the dudes sell some records for Lemmy's sake. After finding out who did that track and buying the then new record I decided that JP Jones is the true talent behind the Buttholes. Not that I don't dig it but I cannot get "The Annoying Song" out of my brain, what with the vocals like Alvin & the Chipmunks x10. One piece of advice to mediocre fans, If you have not heard this album and pick it up ... skip track twelve. Altogether. Every time you play Independent Worm Salon.

mick.lotta@swipnet.se
For a long time i rated this album as much as their earlier stuff until i got hold of the demo material they presented to Capitol records. John Paul Jones really messed up this album! He didn't understand what the Buttholes were. The original versions of "Dust Devil" and "Goofy's Concern" are sheer brilliance.

benalto@benalto.com (Rocket Robin Hood)
Starts off just fantastic, like the Butthole's idea of a radio-friendly album (just like uhm, the Melvins 'Houdini') but kinda runs out of gas. There's plenty of mix-tape material to mine here, though! I love "Wooden Song", "Who Was In My Room", "Naked Man", "Alcohol" and "Chewin George Lucas' Chocolate". And this is my personal favourite _Paul Leary_ record - his guitar playing on this never sounded better.

stevenjules@xtra.co.nz
Yes! this should have been called, ElectricLearyland not "Independent Worm Saloon" because Paul Leary's driving this 30 ton logging truck, down a steep hill, with no brakes! (is that the best you could do). The main strength of this album is, his guitar playing! (and the songs) This thing, for mine, does not ramp down, it ramps up! From the mighty "Dust Devil" through to "Clean it up" two songs which invoke the good Buttholes feeling of old, where they can get away with longish songs! (good classic blowouts) to "Leave me alone" and "Edgar" this always has me playing air guitar! (and air drums) If "Dust Devil" doesn't take your head clean off, I don't know what will! This was on high rotate for about 5 years! A good meaty return to form, nice clean recording and if you know alot about guitar playing, (and I don't) it sounds like he's using a great big distortion peddle and a big stack of Marshalls! and with Gibby Haynes riding shotgun, you're in good hands.

Comment: So much of this could go on "The Trip". Should be the staple of any Student radio! (oh it was) enjoy a superb guitarist's album.

My rating is the Fender Stratocaster of 9's

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Welcome to Capitol! The Buttbags make a nice, classy entrance to the "big show" on this one - neatly straddled about halfway between the trendy alternative rock of the day and the weirdness of their past. Perhaps a little too much of the former - this album delivers more cheap thrills for riff-hungry youth since the glory days of Van Halen (sit DOWN, Hagar! I'm not talking about you!). But at least it's basically a GOOD album - which is more than I can say about anything they've released since. Among the testosterone-injected riff-o-ramas, though, are a couple of really well developed songs that stand up to their best: "Tongue" and "Strawberry" (an early live version of the latter originally appeared on "Double Live Bootleg" - but this version is tons better). 7/10

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
Mark, I really like all of your reviews. They're funny and educational and inspirational. Some of my faves are the Nick Cave rant during a Bowie review (how about a Bad Seeds page!) , and the Billy Zoom interview. Your Miles Davis page should be a book. I'd buy it!

And worm saloon is a great album. Anyone who like the surfers knows they change all the time. And they can't be doing Psychic...Powerless stuff over and over again, can they. Not a question. No.

Even though this one isn't 'weird', as many fans insist on, it has good writing, singing and playing. You are right Mr. Prindle, this is a GUITAR album. I love rock 'n' roll stuff , and Leary SHREDS up left and right here. He's a fretboard Mozart, an Audio Frankenstein here.

"The Annoying Song" only merits a 5, but the album as a hole merits a high 9. I videotaped Gibby and Leary doing "Wooden Song" on MTV... sublime... Even my butthole surfer-hating wife can't complain when I play the video every Sunday morning. I heard the buttholes used to do those 15 second music thingies when MTV 1st came out. I wonder if that's true.

IWS is a wonderful driving record, especially during the summer months. Sometimes I play "You Don't Know Me' 10 times in a row it's so good.

Old stuff or newer stuff, these folks are really talented. And I'm glad they made some coin.

Bob Royale
Definitely not their most creative, but a good ass-kicker. Something I always thought was funny here is that the "lyrics" to Some Dispute About T-Shirt Sales are EXACTLY the same ramblings Gibby did over Jesus Built My Hotrod. I've never heard anyone else mention it, but after a lot of the stuff I've heard about Al Jourgenson, I assume the title of the song is a dig at him. You Don't Know me is REALLY a great song, though.

Add your thoughts?

10" - Capitol 1993.
Rating = 8

I'm pretty sure this 10" EP had no name. It featured two tracks from Independent Worm Saloon (both of which were subsequently removed from the censored "instore play" version of the album I ended up getting - fie!), a minute and a half of the boys vomiting and then two very nice, if underdeveloped, psychedelic-type non-album tunes called "Gandhi" and "Neee Neee." My recommendation to you is to get a job at WXYC in 1993 so you can make a copy of this EP right when it comes out. Otherwise it's gonna get rare and cost you a petty prenny.

Add your thoughts?

The Hole Truth... And Nothing Butt! - Trance Syndicate 1994.
Rating = 8

Another mostly live legal bootleg thingy, this presents the concert Buttholeys in chronological order -- from '85 racket through '86 noise through '88 songs through '89 music and '91 melody before retreating to '93 slop and back to a ridiculously profane college radio interview from '87. Of interest: early studio demos of "Butthole Surfer" and "Something" that present Paul Leary as a hyperactive jackass idiot, and a :52 concert run-through of the Beatles' "Come Together." What's here is great, of course, but surely there are some more great studio outtakes and rarities they could have compiled for us (like "I Hate My Job" and the early instrumental version of "Jimi," for example), rather than feeding us live versions that really aren't that different from the original album versions. Oh well.

Reader Comments

amcquill@home.com (Andrew McQuillan)
Yeah, the interview is quite great. I also like the Gordon Lightfoot cover they do in the middle of that.

Add your thoughts?

ElectricLarryLand - Capitol 1996.
Rating = 8

Both more mainstream AND more fuqt-up than the last album, this one seems just the teeniest bit weaker, possibly because it doesn't kick quite as much teenage pimply hormone ass. Well, "Birds" is okay, and "Ulcer Breakout" is faster and furiouser than anything Rancid will ever do, but most of this is a whole lot mellower. Be it the weak balladry of "The Jingle Of A Dog's Collar," the surreal C/W genericism of "TV Star," the simple druggy mood music of "Space" and "Let's Talk About Cars," or the cool '90s groove of "The Lord Is A Monkey" and "Pepper" (which might actually be the most memorable song they've ever recorded, moronically enough), this is a surprisingly sluggish batch of tuneroo, but don't let that dissuade you. Paul Leary will never let you down. Oh, that tone. Oh, the simple beautiful sounds he can make with that thing. An axe master, if you will.

I got no gripes about this record except it kinda falls apart at the end (songs regress to mere moods, in a disturbingly Ministry-on-downers manner). The rest of the record is great, though. Varied, fun, and two of the songs ("Cough Syrup" and "Ah Ha") are, without much of a doubt, near the top of my list of catchiest pop rockers of the year.

Of course you know what number one on that list is.... "You Live You Learn" by Alanis Mori.... Nah, just kidding. Number one is "Pepper," and yes, I'm embarrassed but, no, I'm not going to deny it. So frig you, Mr. Guy Who Realizes That "Pepper" Is A Joke On Mindless Alternative Youth Who'll Buy Anything With A Hip Beat And A Catchy Chorus. I'll admit to mindlessness if you'll just let me listen to "Pepper" some more. Please?

I don't mind the sun sometimes, the images it shows! I can taste you on my lips and smell you in my clothes!

Man, I'm in puppy heaven....

Reader Comments

jbloom@newschool.edu (Jon Bloom)
Sorry to be the Cokie Roberts to your Sam Donaldson again, but I think "Pepper" blows. Where's the insane Gibby that I love? Where's the organized madness of Paul Leary's guitar? They are capable of so much more, yet they go mainstream with THAT song, a song that smacks of Beck and Jim Carrol. But, I guess if you want to make some money, that's how you do it. And clearly it's working. As for the rest of the album, I like "Cough Syrup" don't you (get it?! I switched the hate to like...that's comedy! Not since Lenny Bruce...). But did you notice that when he says "I can't walk so I guess I'm gonna stay at home.." it is the exact same tune as "I Saw An X-Ray Of A Girl Passing Gas?" Perhaps I have too much spare time. Keep up the good work!

burk4351@tao.sosc.osshe.edu
Surfers rule! Amen to all you said. Know where I can get any outta print stuff or rare albums and eps? I was 14 when my cousin who is 29 got me into them.

dbtseed@theworks.com (D. Bruce Turnupseed)
I LOVE KING COFFEE 696969696969696969696969696969I WANT TO

bthom@turbonet.com
I have to agree with you. "Pepper" is amazing. Another rare example of a really good radio song.

mattro@cyberspace.com
Jeff Pinkus is gone and Paul Leary pulls a double shift as guitarist and bassist.

k4w7@marisrb.marist.edu (d')
"My Brother's Wife" and "Let's Talk About Cars" are the only halfway decent songs on this album. They fuck with me and strangely enough I enjoy the abuse. I've heard Psychic...Powerless... Another Mans Sac is okay but i've only heard independent, locust and pioughd. "Suddenly I turn to the left and I see my brother's wife's breasts."

Boojiboy21@aol.com
although this album introduced me to the Butthole Surfers, I think everything went down after their second drummer left, although a lot of songs rock on indepent worm saloon. Maybe now that they're on a major label, they have more rules or something.

shearing@nbnet.nb.ca (John Shearing and Family)
I agree wholeheartedly...Butthole Surfers have toned down their attitudes a tad bit on this one (can you say sold out?) but I don't care. "Pepper" is an A-class single, "Birds" rocks, and "Lets talk about cars" is a good song to trip out to (very psychadelic); especially if you're fluent in French! I give this album 7 stars out of 10 ( 9 out of ten if you're stoned!)

pmtapia@worldnet.att.net (The Chameleon)
Heh, a surprisingly good record. I had never anything of them except "Pottery" off the Escape from L.A. soundtrack and I was delighted. I haven't listened through this too many times but everytime I have it's always had my attention. This one gets a 9 from me.

rhuff@primus.com.au
pepper is the best song i have ever heard i would love bass tabs and the guitar tabs to it so my band can play it.

huachuma@jps.net (Michael J. Nehl)
I probably wouldn't own any BHS music if it weren't for "Pepper", (now I own 'em all), so don't knock it too much. Does any one else think that the song is reminiscent of the the Jeff Beck era Yardbirds, (Roger the Engineer)?

Jcjh20@aol.com
Great album. They seem to be getting more conventional all the sudden, with really good catchy pop/rock songs like "Ah Ha", "Cough Syrup", "Jingle Of A Dogs Collar" (not weak balladry if you ask me, just Butthole's style), the nice C/W ballad "TV Star" and, of course the big hit, "Pepper". Which was what i was expecting buying this record, but of course theres that weirdness that is always on every Butthole Surfers record, like "Lets Talk About Cars", "My Brothers Wife" and "The Lord Is A Monkey". Then theres that heavy rock like the last album with songs like "Birds", "Ulcer Breakout", and "L.A". So, they show more diversity here, i think, then the previous album, but also more poppy and simpilistic in other places ("Jingle of A Dogs Collar" for example) but great album all and all. Any fan of the surfers should check it out. 8/10

stevenjules@xtra.co.nz
Ha, the funniest thing about this album, is when they appeared on "The David Letterman Show" and performed "Pepper" after they had finished, he asked, if they needed a ride home. But really, most of this is quite ordinary, (and this pains me to say it) over a million made but its some of their weakest. Its like they deliberately went out of their way, not to play those gloriously long wigouts. One or two songs even remind me of Monster, we suck up everything in our path, booze, drugs, women, money, stupid lyrics, Magnet. (Hey I kinda like em) I was at a friend of a friends, flicking through the cd's (like you do) and came across this, thinking I might as well put it on, I pull it out and this guy grabs my arm and says "you won't like that, it's kinda weird" (A true story) "My brothers wife" "The lord is a monkey" " Lets talk about cars" "Space" the hells that? Then they play killers like "Birds" "Ah Ha" "Ulcer breakout" We need more consistency. Shit, it is a good solid album, (the boys got to eat) to be sure, but ummmm

Comment: If its the only buttholes you own (and there must be thousands of you) search out more, for you are in for a treat.

My rating is the late night television of 7's

muggwort@netzero.net
Steve Albini wrote: "There is a thing that people do when a band is crap, but friends. The people, they say, "They're really great guys..."

Todd Trainer, a genius, once said, "I wish someone would say,'what assholes! But what a great band!'"

I'm sorry, that won't be me. The Butthole Surfers are world-class shit-heels, and I vote crap.

The Buttholes were an awe-inspiring and inspirational band in their early period, because they used punk ingenuity and genuine perversity to create a spectacle of themselves. A dazzling human spectacle. This period was short.

Along the way they started treating everyone around them like shit, taking absurd advantage of every situation, and gradually deteriorating into a parody of themselves as a wing of the conventional cut-throat showbusiness world.

Then they started making bullshit, half-assed music, and covered by playing movies behind themselves and firing strobe lights at the audience.

They squandered the respect they had been awarded and made enemies of friends.

This culminated in the retarded war they waged against Touch and Go, the only label to ever be genuinely straight with them and pay them regularly.

They will roast in a particularly oily corner of Hell.

I think King is a genuine fan, and he has individually helped-out some bands I admire, but he played his part in every shit-heel thing the Buttholes did to anyone, and that means he is one of them.

So fuck the Butthole Surfers."

I didn't know anything about their legal battles with Touch and Go prior to this but it's really gross. And earned them not only the condemnation of Mr. Albini but also of Ian MacKaye. Appearently they're real big assholes in person. Oh well, that's their prerogative. Unfortunately from what I can gather their move to Capitol records pretty much destroyed their music. I haven't heard "piuoghed" but "Electriclarryland" strikes me as absolute shit. I sorta liked "Pepper" when I first heard it, but after repeated listenings I find it dumb and lazy. They looped some samples and had Gibby do a half-assed rap over it. The rest of the material I find to be completely unlistenable corporate rock garbage. Absolutely soulless and desperate sounding. I hate this album so much I can't give it a rating. This isn't really music so much as a capitalist endeavor and a gross one at that. I have to agree with Mr. Albini, not as a music insider but as a fan who feels ripped off by worthless drug money songwriting.

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
More mainstream than IWS? With the singular exception of Pepper, I don't think so. Definitely more effed up though.

On Cough Syrup, Gibby sounds Irish, or like Gordon Lightfoot if you will. Jingle Of A Dog's Collar reminds me of Pere Ubu. Birds is a phlegmy homage to a treatment-bound lifestyle. Good hard rock.

On TV Star, where Gibby says "Did something weird", he said "I shot dope in your bathroom" when I saw them perform it live in NYC.

The Lord is a Monkey has that Ministry feel to it, but that's okay. Didn't Gibby do Jesus Built My Hotrod around this time?

If I knew French, maybe I could figure out Let's Talk About Cars. But I don't.

Let's rate this one a 7.

senorhothead@msn.com
In response to muggwort about the Surfers becoming shit-heels...my mom used to get a subscription to People magazine. Near the end of each issue, they would print a one-page curio or human interest oddball story. In this one issue around 1988 the story was about the Butthole Surfers. I'll never forget the quote from Gibby Haynes. They asked him to describe what kind of person was a Butthole Surfers fan. He said, "Shitheads. Fucking burnouts who think we like them." Sure, they ended up attracting some complete idiots. But my point is, maybe muggwort is right?

sonicdeath10@hotmail.com
I really like this album AND Pepper. This album, to me, shows what good songwriters the guys are, without using any of the gimmicks that they used to mask the fact that they were writing great songs before. The songs stand up on their own, and survive.

Ever notice how much the chorus vocal melody of "Cough Syrup" sounds like "I Saw An X-Ray Of A Girl Passing Gas"? Nothing else in the song, just that first little melody really really sounds like it. Oh well. Still a great album, and a much more diverse and weird record than the (admittedly solid, hard rocking, and consistent) Independent Worm Saloon.

Add your thoughts?

After The Astronaut - Unreleased.
Rating = 7

This album was supposed to come out a couple of years ago, but the band got pissed at Capitol Records and refused to let them release it. However, Capitol had already sent out some demo copies and I got a CDR of one!!! Now the Buttholes are taking some songs from this, reworking them and adding them to some new tunes to create a new album for another label. But I hope it's similar to this one, because I really like the approach. It's ELECTRONICA!!!! But "Buttholes"-style electronica, kinda like they took Madonna's RAY OF LIGHT album and pissed all over it. The lyrics are mostly asinine, spoken in a dumb sarcastic redneck voice through heavy distortion. The beats, noises and occasional guitar rock action are "wack" as a duck might put it, and the overall feel is one of mellow pot-smoking late nineties experimentation. Some old fans are whining about the change in direction (many arguing that they're just trying to repeat the commercial success they enjoyed with "Pepper," which would fit in quite well here), but personally I hear this record as this decade's Rembrandt Pussyhorse. In other words, it is an ART record by this most unarty of band-type conglomerations. As with that earlier record, comparisons with all other BH Surfers LPs are pointless because it's a complete departure from earlier material. And, as with that earlier record, the band is still too forking goofy to take it all that seriously. One song, for example, seems to be about religion except Gibby keeps making up stupidass rhymes for all the Supreme Beings' names. Another is just a bunch of loops of a goofy redneck repeating the phrase, "Girls - they got knives!" and a woman insisting that she doesn't have a problem with drugs and alcohol. A third yet soothes and grooves along like generic electronica except that Gibby plaintively recites a Steppenwolf lyric at the end of each verse.

So, you see, although I personally hope that the ACTUAL released version of this album sounds completely different than this (because I don't need two copies of it!), I'm very glad that they recorded it and I'm proud to own it. Try to hunt down a copy if you can do so for a reasonable price. There's only one straight punk-rock song on it (the final tune), but if you are interested to see what your favorite shit band might do if they got their hands on the Chemical Brothers' equipment, check it out (and please avoid the Jackofficers' album - man is that thing BORING!!!!!!!).

(!!!!!!!!!!)

Reader Comments

mattro@raptorial.com (Mattro)
Got one!

Very different Surfers music here. If the existing Butthole catalog is collectively planet Earth, After the Astronaut is definitely floating out in orbit somewhere.

I don't know what to make of most of it, but I DO know that "They Came In" is a great track. It starts out kinda abrasive and you suspect a NIN rip-off/spoof thingy is afoot (kinda like "Pepper" was a Beck rip-off/spoof thingy)... but it soon settles into a very cool techno groove with enough Surfer schizo to make it cool.

I disagree with the comparisons to Rembrandt Pussyhorse, though. I think Astronaut is more like Locust Abortion Technician the way many tracks seem patched together and aren't necessarily "songs" in the traditional sense. Some cuts seem to be copying the exact formula of certain Locust moments... like "Junky Jenny in Gaytown" where a foreign lady is saying something over and over again in her native tongue and to English speaking ears it sounds a lot like the title of the song (similar to Locust's "Kuntz"). The song "Last Astronaut" even reminds me a smidge of "22 Going on 23" for some reason which I have yet to analyze. At the end of the day, After the Astronaut just might be a perfect genetic pairing of Locust Abortion Technician and that mediocre Butthole spin-off, Digital Dump (by the Jackofficers).

It rates a 6 or 7 out of 10. There's some interesting stuff here, but not enough to turn me into a Butthead again 10+ years after the Surfers ruled.

prettyinplump@bikinikiller.fsnet.co.uk
i'm so happy that they are keeping jetfighter for the weird revolution album, because when my boyfriend first heard last astronaut he said *jesus gibby can actually sing, he's spent about 20yrs singing like a madman and finally a good record*

but as long as gibby is singing i am happy :p. welll i can't wait to see them tour weird revolution and see and meet king, cause speaking to him on-line is all well and good but i wanna meet him to thank him face to face :)

slipknot3@prodigy.net (Josh Randall)
where the fuck do you get off giving butthole surfers higher reviews than rev.co

and by the way the cover of do ya think i'm sexy is funny coming from chris connelly and al so be proud your an ac/dc fan!!!!!

CaimanJJ@webtv.net
If you can explain in 10 words or less where they come up with ideas, you deserve to be in the band! Basically, after the crap on Electric Larryland, this album reinforces the whole goddamned reason why you like/ worship the Buttholes anyway. There are no boundaries in the B.H. style, and once they start having them, they come up with crap like the last album. Larryland- the tour was when I finally got to see them live, did little or nothing to impress me, Leary was wearing a cast so most songs were lame-dick ones that were slow. They also recieved a bunch of airtime on mtv, between the nonstop hours of negro rap music, and I recorded the video for The Wooden Song/ acoustic version. This Fucking Rules!!!!!!! I got a copy of After The Astronaut from a friend and just fond out the sory of why it is not out here. In my opinion, if you dont like the purity of Buttholes of old, and think Pepper is the greatest song of all time, after putting you on a pedestle, giving you a trophy, shoot you in the fucking face! I hope this album scares the shit out of you douchebags! Definitly 8+ of 10.

tiger_2k@hotmail.com
The Jackofficers release was fuckin hilarious dude, the trick is not to consider it as music necessarily but as a joke like pioughd. Some of the songs are actually kinda catchy if you hear them alot. For the rest of you, its called Digital Dump and its Haynes' take on house music, which was pretty shitty to begin with, but he adds enough style to it to give it a "dada" kind of feel.

(By the way mark you should do reviews of the Jackofficers, Paul Leary's history of dogs, and Daddy Longhead; not surfers caliber, but definitely sick nonetheless.)

I havent gotten a copy of After the Astronaut, but if its anything like Weird Revolution then I'm not even sure I need one.

Old school Surfers is where its at boys and girls, so go find yourselves some sweet sweet Pussy(horse)

Add your thoughts?

Weird Revolution - Hollywood 2001.
Rating = 7

Isn't Hollywood Records owned by Disney? What the hell is Disney doing signing the "Butthole Surfers"? They do know that's a fag joke, right? For that matter, what the hell was Disney thinking when they released that director's cut of Pocohontas where she gets a DP from Lewis & Clark?

But enough about my home life. Let's speak of this rearranged version of After The Astronaut that has finally been made available to the public. First of all, for those of us who own the original unreleased version -- what are the differences? Well, they've reworked eight of the songs and replaced four of them. Of the eight they reworked (new vocals, new mix, new elements, that kind of thing), they pretty much made them all better, especially "Intelligent Guy" and "They Came In," which are a clear 500 billion times better than the underdeveloped original versions. So that's the good. Let me break paragraph here, so children can learn about punctuation.

As for the 4 they dumped from the original, here's what they are: "Imbuya," which was BY FAR my least favorite song on the original - a truly atrocious techno/metal White Zombie type thing that made me cringe endlessly every time I blasted it at your wedding. So I'm glad to see that one go. Then there's "Junky Jenny In Gaytown." That was a cute one, but not necessarily imperative, I suppose. "I Don't Have A Problem"? Well, I love it, but it's not really a "song" so I can see why they dumped it. And finally - NO!!! They dumped the punk song!!! "Turkey And Dressing"! I LOVE that song! Oh well. At least I get to hear it any time I want - too bad about you! So long, suckers!

The police tracked me down and told me I had to finish the review. This would involve telling you about the four new songs. Well, one of them is great. A '70s-style funk disco number called "Get Down" which makes a big sparkling smile break out on my face every time I hear it. But the other three are totally bogus, if I may quote a young Grant Tenneille for a moment. They're embarrassing, blatant attempts to appeal to young stupid people who buy young stupid music. Not only that, but they RUIN the "electronica" feel of the CD by just being shitty rap/pop shit. "Dracula From Houston" is in fact the absolute WORST EVER PIECE OF SHIT this band has ever issued. Checking the track listing, you may notice that it isn't even credited to the Butthole Surfers. It was written by Gibby Haynes and some guy who plays bass on four of the songs on here. And by "written," I mean "ripped off entirely" - the music in the verse is Alice Cooper's "Be My Lover," the music in the chorus is Paul Revere & The Raiders' "Just Like Me" and the music in my head features Robert Downey Jr. on Guest Marijuana.

Reader Comments

mick.lotta@swipnet.se
Time to retire, Buttholes!!

pozwr@webtv.net (Mark)
Apparently their swan song. I saw them tour this in NYC, I forget where. I know they had an extra guitarist, but still, their sonic apex. I'm sooo very happy I got to see them before they evaporated. They had a sound, especially on guitar that can only be described as monstrous and disturbing. Calling it aggressive is way too mild an adjective. Oh, it was loud too. (heh-heh). Gibby couldn't do much except stand and sing, (a la Shane McGowan) from all the drugs, but man. Man.

On a certain level this recording kinda predicts the events of 9/11. Think about it. The whooshing guitar (I think) sounds and the lyrical references. Try it next time you play it.

If this is their final recording, then they went out on a high note. Also their most accessible release, along with IWS.

Maybe they'll reunite when they get inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Now wouldn't that be cool in a perverse way !

Add your thoughts?

Humpty Dumpty LSD - Latino Buggerveil 2002.
Rating = 7

The BH Surfers have ploughed their crack bitchalogue to bring us 16 rarititties ranging from 1982 (twenty years ago) to 1994 (eight years ago). Some of the rarijuggs are full-fledged SoNgS that should have been on their proper albums, like the bendy guitar, Gib/Paul dual vocalizing of "I Love You Peggy," the hyper awesome guitar craziness (and atrociously childish Gibby vocals) of 1982's "Just A Boy," which unfortunately is not a cover of the song from Kiss' Music From The Elder, and the gonnorhea-riffic bitterness of ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE BUTTHOLE SURFERS SONGS, "I Hate My Job." It was previously available on a fantastic Texas punk compilation called Cream Cheese From The Lips Of Death and it starts out with Gibby shouting, "Is the ta- Hey! Alright, this is for Fucking Mark B and John Fucking O'Rourke and i can't say their full goddamn names cuz the corporate shits are gonna sue my ass - I'm tired, I'm frustrated, I'm full of shit and I HATE MY FUCKIN' JOB!" Then Paul starts flappin' away like an imbecile and you're on your way, just set me free, home sweet home. Tonight tonight, I'm on my way I'm on my wa-a-ay, home sweet home!

He's the one they call Dr. FEELGOOD! He's gonna make you feel ALRIGHT! He's the one they call Dr. FEELGOOD! He's gonna be your Frankenstein!

Girls Girls Girls! Rockin' in Atlanta at TATTLETALES!!!

SHOUT! SHOUT! SHOUT AT THE DEVIL!

You're the great exaggerator's since 1932! Telling evils of the reefer but all thru time we've SMOKED THE SKY!!!!!!!

What do you mean, you're unfamiliar with the 1994 LP Motley Crue where they had that other guy sing and tried to sound like a grunge band? Jesus christ, get your fucking head out of your ass, asshole! Where the hell have YOU been? In America, where no radio station ever played it and nobody bought it because it's a complete artistic failure and miserable bore?

However, unfortunately, most of the songs are just endless, boring guitar-solo-and-noise jams ("One Hundred Million People Dead," "Hetero Skeleton," "All Day") and alternate versions of songs you already know ("Perry Intro," "Concubine Solo" and "Day Of The Dying Alive," which is just an alternate version of "Jimi" that sounds so similar to the final version, they might as well have used "Flame Grape," a silly instrumental version of it that I recorded off of somewhere some time ago someplace for some reason (sex)).

Nevertheless, Humpty Dumpty LSD shows how far the band has come on their endless mission to make more and more drug money while treating everybody like shit (except the drummer King Coffey, who is actually a really nice man!), not to mention how much they love making you sit through pointless noise and how lucky you are not to have paid a whole lot of money to buy the original compilations where stuff like "Earthquake" and "Eindhoven Chicken Masque" previously resided. I give it a 7 and that's what I give it! An 8!

Reader Comments

jzaniol6305@rogers.com (John Zaniol)
You are a moron and deserve to be pissed on and shit on by the band members and their pets.

BTW dumbass. They have an official website as well.

www.buttholesurfers.com .

Thanks for the bad press.

SneakthaSlinger@aol.com
Seven's about right. "Night Of The Day" makes for a nice opener with a guy snoring/farting into the left speaker while another guy croons operatically about nonsense junk like "the wooden leg you left me when I ate the chocolate pudding" into the right speaker over Paul's pretty guitar carwash. And the instrumental "Dadgad" starts off really good, but as soon as it finds a decent groove, it quickly retreats into wanksville. "Space I" is a great song with it's shrill whistling guitar smash, but "Space II" is just one noise repeated over and over again. I really like "Ghandi" but "All Day" is the perfect song to fall asleep to, and Daniel Johnston's guest appearance amounts to nothing. Hopefully the upcoming re-issue of their first two EPs plus bonus tracks contains more material that's actually listenable.

silvercircle@shaw.ca
I wanted to send this in, particularly because it will be (for now) the final post on the page. There's an interesting streak of comments about the band being assholes who treat their fans like shit, and while I was not around in the 80s or early 90s to witness their behavior then, I can confirm that for the past, hmm, 8 or 9 years, the band has had a very heavy internet presence, particularly on the forum at their homepage, and this was in a time when there was almost no Butthole Surfers activity! King and Paul both post frequently to answer questions and tell stories but mostly just talk, about anything, with crazy Butthole Surfers fans (and we are crazy). Almost any show they've done since the 2001 Weird Revolution tour (their first live performances since 1996) have had unprecedented amounts of fans given backstage access, simply from being part of an internet community. Paul is the most friendly motherfucker I have met from the 2 shows I saw on the 2001 tour, letting me backstage one night and on the bus (!) the next night (and yes, I'm a dude! he invited a few people!). He clearly enjoyed meeting and talking to fans. King too! King rules. King is the shit. Gibby is...Gibby. And we love Gibby!

Anyway, sorry to ramble, I just wanted to offer a positive, current note regarding these guys, cuz they're a fucking legendary band, and to think that in 2008, the classic five-piece line-up is actually touring again, is pretty amazing. Words can't express how excited I am for their two San Francisco shows at the end of the year (literally!), and hopefully seeing them all again and reaffirming what I've written above.

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