Jan 3, 2018

RhoDeo 1753 Aetix


Today's artists are arguably the most infamously named band in the annals of popular music -- for years, radio found their moniker unspeakable, and the press deemed it unprintable -- the band long reigned among the most twisted and depraved acts ever to bubble up from the American underground. Masters of calculated outrage, the group fused the sicko antics of shock rock with a distinct and chaotic mishmash of avant-garde, hardcore, and Texas psychedelia; sleazy, confrontational, and spiteful, songs like "The Revenge of Anus Presley," "Bar-B-Q Pope," and "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey Oswald's Grave" seemed destined to guarantee the Buttholes little more than a lifetime of cultdom. Yet, by the mid-'90s, they were left-field Top 40 hitmakers, success perhaps their ultimate subversion of mainstream ideals......N'Joy

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The seeds of their formation dated back to 1977, when future frontman Gibby Haynes, the son of the Dallas-based children's TV host known as "Mr. Peppermint," met guitarist Paul Leary while attending college in San Antonio. Four years later, Haynes -- then completing his graduate work in accounting -- and Leary formed the Ashtray Baby Heads, later dubbed Nine Foot Worm Makes Home Food; they became Butthole Surfers only after a radio announcer mistakenly took the title of an early song to be the group's name. In 1981, they signed to Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra's label Alternative Tentacles, and two years later issued their hallucinatory eponymous debut, also issued on colored vinyl under the name Brown Reason to Live.

After a number of bassists and drummers, the Surfers' lineup fell into place in 1983 with the addition of drummers King Coffey (formerly of the Hugh Beaumont Experience) and Theresa Nervosa; at the same time, their bizarre live gigs -- a traveling freak show combining nude dancers, film clips of sex-change operations, and Haynes' pyromaniacal behavior -- began to win a devout cult following, and in 1984 they issued the concert set Live PCPPEP. A move to the Chicago-based indie Touch & Go precipitated a turn toward even greater thematic offensiveness, as evidenced by tracks like "Concubine" and "Lady Sniff" from 1985's Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac.

After the EP Cream Corn From the Socket of Davis, the Buttholes resurfaced in 1986 with Rembrandt Pussyhorse, a twisted trip into neo-psychedelia featuring a brutal deconstruction of the Guess Who's "American Woman," as well as new bassist Jeff "Tooter" Pinkus. The introduction of Haynes' "Gibbytronix" vocal effects unit increased the level of dementia for 1987's Locust Abortion Technician, an extremist fusion of punk, metal, art rock, and worldbeat rhythms. Following 1988's faux-Zeppelin rant Hairway to Steven, the group issued Double Live, a mock bootleg released through their own Latino Bugger Veil imprint; after a pair of EPs, 1989's Widowermaker! and 1990's The Hurdy Gurdy Man, they remained uncharacteristically silent until 1991's uneven Pioughd, recorded for the Rough Trade label.

For many observers, the biggest shock in a career built on outrageous behavior arrived in 1992, when the Buttholes signed with major label Capitol, which promptly reissued Pioughd following the demise of Rough Trade. After entering the studio with producer and former Led Zep bassist John Paul Jones, they emerged in 1993 with the LP Independent Worm Saloon; the first single and video, "Who Was in My Room Last Night?," both garnered a surprising amount of airplay, much to the chagrin of the many media outlets which begrudgingly referred to the group as "BH Surfers." Following a series of side projects -- most notoriously Haynes' group P, which also featured movie star Johnny Depp -- the band (now a trio consisting of Haynes, Leary, and Coffey) returned in 1996 with Electriclarryland, scoring a major chart hit with the trip-hop-flavored "Pepper." In 1998, they recorded a follow-up, After the Astronaut, but disputes between the Surfers and Capitol prevented the album from being released, though advance copies were sent to reviewers. Three years later, Butthole Surfers emerged with their first for Hollywood/Surfdog Records, Weird Revolution, which recycled some of the songs from After the Astronaut, but in new recordings.

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"There's a time to live and a time to die/I smoke Elvis Presley's toenails when I want to get high." So begins the Butthole Surfers's eponymous 1983 EP, repackaged on Butthole Surfers/Live PCPPEP with its live 1984 follow-up. The line, together with the caustic, hellacious instrumentation of "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave," accurately sums up the band's bizarre, hilarious, and ultimately intellectual shlock-core. And since the Buttholes launched their 20-year voyage down the crazy river with these EPs, they're essential listening for fans. Besides the entire live EP, the set includes a second previously unreleased encore, "Sinister Crayon" (recorded for the first EP), and a demo version of "Something."

Butthole Surfers - EP & Live PCPPEP (flac  377mb)

Butthole Surfers EP
01 The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey's Grave 2:09
02 Hey 2:06
03 Something 4:37
04 Bar-B-Q Pope 3:36
05 Wichita Cathedral 2:22
06 Suicide 1:24
07 The Revenge Of Anus Presley 2:25
08 Cowboy Bob 2:32
09 Bar-B-Q Pope 3:09
10 Dance Of The Cobras 0:34
11 The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey's Grave 2:26
12 Wichita Cathedral 2:45
13 Hey 2:17
14 Something 7:38
Bonus Tracks
15 Gary Floyd (Live) 2:02
16 Matchstick (Live) 3:09
17 Sinister Crayon 4:01
18 Something (Demo) 5:03

Butthole Surfers - EP & Live PCPPEP   (ogg  130mb)

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The Surfers' Touch and Go debut remains their highlight for many fans, an inspired blast of ugly noise, knowing idiocy, drugged-out insanity and some backhanded surprises. Haynes is still relatively interpretable here; the vocal distortions are only on a few songs, like the opening "Concubine," and what one can't quite understand one can still sense. The band's self-production brings out the mighty rumbles of drummers Coffey and Nervosa and Leary's avant-junkyard guitar work with clarity and a big, thick punch. Leary begins with screwy blues and gentle strums, then cranks up the amps and lets fly. The band also officially recorded their semi-theme song "Butthole Surfer," after which they were accidentally named; the bizarro backing vocals and sudden sped-up shifts at the end are just part of the oddities on display. "Negro Observer" is one of the most straightforward, calmest songs of the bunch, and even that's saying something, with Haynes going off about the title characters -- described as aliens coming to "count heads in singles bars" -- like a barely stable street crazy, insane laughter and all. When it comes to full-on craziness, though, nothing beats the obscene "Lady Sniff," which sounds like an amped-up blues act fronted by a 100-year-old man, and the hallucinatory "Mexican Caravan," with Haynes raving about "that heroin Brown!" The nods to rock history are subtle but present, from the Black Sabbath-quoting (specifically "Children of the Grave") opening rhythm of "Dum Dum" to the fried Tex/Mex-ranting of "Gary Floyd," written about the legendary Dicks bandleader. However, the Surfers' crazy blend is completely distinctive, taking punk and the inspiration of their acid-addled Texas forebears to new heights.

Butthole Surfers - Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac (flac 194mb)

01 Concubine 2:27
02 Eye Of The Chicken 1:36
03 Dum Dum 3:47
04 Woly Boly 2:45
05 Negro Observer 3:39
06 Butthole Surfer 3:02
07 Lady Sniff 3:45
08 Cherub 6:22
09 Mexican Caravan 2:46
10 Cowboy Bob 2:55
11 Gary Floyd 1:56

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Everything seems to start almost normally on Pussyhorse with "Creep in the Cellar," even with the rather gone violin line -- Haynes is intelligible, the piano part is quiet serene. Then again, Haynes is talking about the creep in question doing things like taking off his skin, so clearly all is still at least somewhat tweaked in Surferland. The rest of the album makes that pretty clear; if not quite as strong as Psychic...Powerless, Pussyhorse is still a strong slice of homegrown art/psychedelia gone to a murky hell. Gentler songs like "Sea Ferring" still have a distinct queasiness to them, its sea chanty feeling undercut by the nagging bassline and Haynes' yelps. When the group goes totally nuts, as on a drum-blasting, squiggly voiced cover of the Guess Who's "American Woman" that makes the later Lenny Kravitz version seem like the redundant slice of nostalgia it is, no prisoners are taken. "Perry" is another definite nutter, with Haynes or somebody talking about this and that to his "baby" over a slow, organ-heavy groove. This said, the trick about Pussyhorse, and arguably why it's slightly lesser than Psychic...Powerless, is its overall subtlety in comparison. Things are more dark and gloomy throughout, downright gothic, even, with the organ start and whispery lyrics of "Strangers Die Everyday" being a good example. Leary keeps his playing low and strange throughout, fitting in with new bassist Pinkus rather well as a result. Get past the slight surprise of not always hearing the Surfers going near-all out most of the time, though, and Pussyhorse is still mighty fine, whether talking about the drony guitar weirdness opening "Whirling Hall of Knives" or the echo-treated reprise of "In the Cellar." CD versions of Pussyhorse conveniently include the Cream Corn From the Socket of Davis EP.

 Butthole Surfers - Rembrandt Pussyhorse (flac 317mb)

01 Creep In The Cellar 2:05
02 Sea Ferring 3:59
03 American Woman 5:32
04 Waiting For Jimmy To Kick 2:20
05 Strangers Die 3:09
06 Perry 3:31
07 Whirling Hall Of Knives 4:44
08 Mark Says Alright 4:07
09 In The Cellar 3:18
10 Moving to Florida 4:32
11 Comb 4:57
12 TP Parter 4:20
13 Tornadoes 2:36

Butthole Surfers - Rembrandt Pussyhorse   (ogg  117mb)

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The aural equivalent of a nightmarish acid trip and arguably the band's best album (or worst, depending on your point of view), Locust Abortion Technician tops the psychedelic, artsy sonic experimentation of Rembrandt Pussyhorse while keeping one foot planted firmly in the gutter. The record veers from heavy Sabbath sludge (even parodying that band on "Sweat Loaf") to grungy noise rock to progressive guitar and tape effects to almost folky numbers in one big, gloriously schizophrenic mess. Gibby Haynes debuts his "Gibbytronix" vocal effects unit here as well.

Butthole Surfers - Locust Abortion Technician (flac  176mb)
01 Sweat Loaf 6:14
02 Graveyard 2:36
03 Pittsburg To Lebanon 2:34
04 Weber 0:40
05 Hay 1:53
06 Human Cannonball 3:56
07 U.S.S.A. 2:19
08 The O-Men 3:29
09 Kuntz 2:31
10 Graveyard 2:54
11 22 Going On 23 4:24

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The final album for the Surfers' legendary run on Touch and Go got a reception probably not even the band figured on -- lead reviews in major music magazines, increasingly higher profiles, and more. As it is, though, Hairway is actually a touch lazy in comparison to the previous releases, sometimes sounding almost all too normal. When it connects, though, Steven works wonders, whether continuing in the punk/psychedelic fusion vein of the past or exploring a gentler, tuneful side. The lengthy opener "Jimi" is the album's high note, and as one might guess from the title it's something of a tribute to Hendrix -- at least, if "Third Stone From the Sun" sounded like it was recorded in a sewer tunnel and was even more gone than it already was. Haynes' alternately deep and hyper-high-pitched vocals work perfectly against Leary's searing, crazed guitar noises, while the Pinkus/Coffey rhythm section lays down a massive beat. Everything concludes with deceptive peacefulness: acoustic guitar, tweeting birds, sounds of bowling, and the like. Other highlights include "I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas," a relatively straightforward, mostly acoustic-plus-rhythm section number sung clearly (!) by Haynes, and the mock live recording "John E. Smokes," with Haynes often sounding like a rural preacher gone mad. The humming guitar buzz of "Backass" and the quick blast of "Fart Song" concludes Steven with vim. As a final note, the song titles themselves can't be found anywhere on the release -- instead, and quite notoriously, a series of cartoon drawings stand in for them. Some are fairly calm, but most show things like nude women displaying their butts and rabbits taking dumps on deer. Juvenile? Of course, but the Butthole Surfers never pretended to be nice and sweet.

Butthole Surfers - Hairway To Steven (flac  293mb)
01 Jimi 12:38
02 Ricky 2:36
03 I Saw An X-Ray Of A Girl Passing Gas 4:56
04 John E. Smoke 6:41
05 Rocky 3:44
06 Julio Iglesias 3:04
07 Backass 6:07
08 Fart Song 1:36

Butthole Surfers - Hairway To Steven   (ogg  99mb)

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And finally to round off the Butt's eighties 1989's four-song EP of typical Butthole sound effects, gross humor, and insanity. Yippeeee!

Butthole Surfers - Widowermaker! (EP) (flac  100mb)
01 Helicopter 6:47
02 Bong Song 3:41
03 The Colored F.B.I. Guy 2:46
04 Booze, Tobacco, Dope, Pussy, Cars 2:19

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1 comment:

nadja said...

thanks for the surfers! any chance you have pioughed in flac...?