Home Artists - A to K Artists - B Butthole Surfers

Butthole Surfers

Given they spent the last few decades plumbing new depths of musical blandness embracing the corporate dollar, it’s hard to imagine drug-crazed Texans Butthole Surfers were ever an underground force to be reckoned with, even feared.

But once Sonic Youth had deconstructed rock music on behalf of punk, the Buttholes merrily pissed on the rubble, turning Black Sabbath‘s Sweet Leaf into the gross-out Sweat Loaf and generally savaging anything that remained sacred from the 60s and 70s golden years.

buttholesurfers_663

Thankfully, we not only have their pre-90s catalogue to scare and confuse our children but also the Blind Eye Sees All DVD – a slice of visual insanity recorded over two nights at Traxx in Detroit in 1985.

Interspersed with hilariously drug-addled interview footage and snippets from their first-ever live debacle-cum-show, the Buttholes’ sound on the DVD is a chaotic barrage of acid rock, hardcore punk and twisted Beefheart-esque weirdness, skewed still further by singer Gibby Haynes’ electronically treated vocals, Paul Leary’s mind-altering guitar and the manic tribal thump of dual drummers King and Theresa.

The Buttholes were still a way off the penis-surgery-and-hands-aflame craziness of their late 80s peak, but Blind Eye Sees All is an impressive testament.

Their 1987 album, Locust Abortion Technician, was chock-full of the type of humour that should make you feel nervous and nauseous rather than tickled.

buttholesurfers

They sampled an old Thai hunting song for Kuntz, and the track 22 Going On 23 was actually built around a sample of a sexually assaulted female who, according to Gibby Haynes, was a serial caller to a radio show, and had multiple personalities.

She called the show every night with a different problem and a different age; claiming at various times to be a widower and a 14-year-old girl. Amid samples of bellowing cattle – as if to say “silly cow” – the Buttholes unleashed a guitar solo of monumental pathos in (dis)honour of this woman’s sadness.

Gibson ‘Gibby’ Haynes
Vocals
Paul Leary
Guitar
Jeff ‘Tooter’ Pinkus
Bass
Alan
Bass
Terence
Bass
Mark Kramer
Bass
King Coffey
Drums
Theresa Nervosa (Naylor)
Drums
Kathleen
Naked Dancer