Butthole Surfers
Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jeff Z. USER (11 Reviews)
May 21st, 2012 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Butthole Surfers spawn with a psychedelic-noise rock release

Note: Updated ratings on 11/29/12

Before well-known hit "Pepper" and numerous album releases, the [L]Butthole Surfers[L] released this record in 1984. This was likely a low-key release, scratched out with low budget production and costs. Nonetheless, this record has many key tracks that the band retained as concert staples for years to come.

Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac takes no prisoners in the onset, with the opening tracks "Concubine" and "Eye of the Chicken." These tracks are abrasive in a psychedelic and noise rock fashion, with staccato rhythms. "Cherub" is a similar track, that appears later, and it also the longest song on the record. This song has some repeating sounds from "Dum Dum" and is hazy-sounding. Some twisted punk tracks are strewn through the record, such as "Woly Boly." This track features some of Gibby Haynes' signature yelling and screeching throughout.

The highlight of the album is the more well-known track "Negro Observer." It is a fairly mellow track bathed in saxophone, which gradually builds up with very good guitar. The lyrics are also very interesting, and may have to do with aliens. Anyhow, this track could make it on "Best Tracks of the 80s" type lists.

"Butthole Surfer" and "Mexican Caravan" are other high energy tracks that are very enjoyable. "Butthole Surfer" has a fun surf rock feel to it, while "Mexican Caravan" is a more standard punk track with hilarious lyrics. A different track is "Lady Sniff" which appears to be a composition of sounds (spitting, farting, etc), good ol' boy-type singing and some sharp guitar sounds by Paul Leary.

The debut record of any band can be used as a form of introspection of what a band was. This record, which provides the genesis of the Butthole Surfers, is telling of the psychedelic noise that followed in the future records. It also provides some of the vocal techniques employed by Haynes in future releases, as well as providing a glimpse of Paul Leary's signature guitar playing.

Grades
1. Concubine - 6
2. Eye of the Chicken - 7.5
3. Dum Dum - 6.5
4. Woly Boly - 6
5. Negro Observer - 10
6. Butthole Surfer - 7
7. Lady Sniff - 8
8. Cherub - 5.5
9. Mexican Caravan - 9
10. Cowboy Bob - 9.5
11. Gary Floyd - 8

Cohesiveness - 7.5 - Despite the seemingly random nature of the tracks, they all sound rather cohesive. "Negro Observer" may sound a little out of place.

Album Art - 7 - Appears to be old pictures of leprosy victims drawn on with a neon pen. Very fitting for the band.

Upshot - Not for everyone, but worth giving a listen for music fans willing to explore. Took me a few times to actually get a hang of. "Negro Observer" which I must emphasize is a must-listen track.



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user ratings (104)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainDooRight
May 21st 2012


30334 Comments


does this have anything to do with rimming or flowing on the crest?

CaptainDooRight
May 21st 2012


30334 Comments


what part? the butthole or the surf?

Killerhit
May 21st 2012


5381 Comments


This band name is so damn good I just might listen to it for the irony

CaptainDooRight
May 21st 2012


30334 Comments


or because you like buttholes, either will do

Graveyard
May 21st 2012


5817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"This band name is so damn good I just might listen to it for the irony"

You never heard of the Butthole Surfers?

Graveyard
May 21st 2012


5817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"ummm these guys are pretty well known im actually surprised they havent appeared on one of ur IRecUObviousBandsFeaturePlz lists"

Don't worry riff im working on my "noise rock" list atm, so hold your horses ;)

CaptainDooRight
May 21st 2012


30334 Comments


i don't have a horse but i can hold my penis

Graveyard
May 21st 2012


5817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

also this is better than LAT

just sayin

YankeeDudel
August 21st 2012


9313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album slays. SLAYS

Digging: Land Of Kush - Against The Day

omnipanzer
August 21st 2012


21660 Comments


Yah it does.

I need to dig back into this discog, it's been over a decade.

YankeeDudel
August 21st 2012


9313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ive only heard this and Electriclarryland. Obviously the latter was much more toned down. Will prob hear Locust next. Really like the whole psychedelic/noise fusion these guys got. They're weird but still decently accessible.

jsaf7
September 23rd 2014


187 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man, aside from a few weak tracks here and there, i dug the shit outta this album!!! And yea, i completely agree about Cherub being the weakest track...

Digging: Mae - The Everglow

BMDrummer
December 13th 2014


9979 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

holy fuck this is so unsettling and hilarious at the same time, can't imagine how weird this would've been in the 80s



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