Butthole Surfers
Pioughd


4.0
excellent

Review

by Liam8VIII USER (8 Reviews)
December 22nd, 2012 | 11 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Probably the most often dismissed album in the Surfers back catalogue, complete with tremendous high points.

Butthole Surfers are one of those bands that make you wonder what would happen to someone if you were to capture them, lock them in a dark room, inject them with large amounts of strong hallucinogenic drugs, play their music for them at full volume and accompany them with episodes of Sesame Street projected onto the wall. Not for malicious reasons of course, just as let’s say, an experiment. The results would probably have the same effect as visiting one of their notorious and well documented gigs from the 1980’s. Anyway, onto the album - PIOUHGD (soliloquised to “Pee Offed”, “Pissed Off” or just something unintelligible as it probably suggests) arrived during the strange mid-point of the Butthole Surfers career, in 1991. Before this, the band had released some pretty uncompromising material in the form of the demented debut LP - PSYCHIC... POWERLESS... ANOTHER MAN’S SAC and the utterly horrifying masterpiece - LOCUST ABORTION TECHNICIAN. After PIOUHGD, the Surfer’s released the significantly more accessible albums in the heavy riffing of INDEPENDENT WORM SALOON and the more straightforward (for the Surfers, at least) ELECTRICLARRYLAND. PIOUHGD comes somewhere in between these polar opposites and is something of an equilibrium of their twisted soundscapes.

PIOUHGD initially does lack certain qualities unique to the band and may sometimes even show a lack of new, interesting, or just plain old psychopathic ideas that would be nicely snug on any old Surfer release. Yet, it has a certain charm about it; tracks still have the ability to give listeners the “Why exactly am I listening to this"” vibe whilst being completely inclined to see the album right through to the end and then maybe even restart it due to the subliminal hypnotics the Surfers dabble with (just kidding). Elsewhere on the album, you’ll probably be spitting your tongue out in utter confusion and awe. A Butthole Surfers album should do no less.

The short and bouncy ‘Revolution Part 1’ kicks us off the mark and is generally quite a pleasant opener until the familiarly howled and distorted vocals kick in stamping it as pure Butthole Surfer inovation. ‘Part 1’ then bleeds into the unimaginatively but aptly named ‘Revolution Part 2’; nonetheless, this is one of PIOUHGD’s standouts. ‘Part 2’ starts off as a more laid back rendition of ‘Part 1’ with its clean, nasal Gibby Haynes vocal over the top and alongside Leary’s constant swirling soloing. At around the mid-stage of this song, wild chants consisting mainly of “GARY SHANDLING!” along with loose police car sirens and phone rings pop up and remain for the rest of the songs duration. This is juxtaposed with euphoric synth and is possibly one of the Surfers most underappreciated tracks. The Donovan cover ‘The Hurdy Gurdy Man’ is a relatively straightforward Surfers rendition despite Haynes manipulated and odd, wobbly vocals. Even hardcore fans may find this a little too annoying, but repeated listens will reward. The final track on the album ‘Barking Dogs’ is a probable nod to Pink Floyd and more familiar territory for the band – the sound of grinding machinery, barking dogs (funnily enough), gunshots and an announcer yelling “BROTHERS AND SISTERS!” again and again. Over the top, yet again, is Leary producing some of his most utterly sublime guitar work which wails over the absolutely chaotic collage of noise underneath. It’s a fitting album closer as it reminds us of how purely insane the band can go and, in turn, we have another high point of PIOUHGD. Other notable mentions include the organ and sax driven ‘Golden Showers’ and the protracted twelve minute jam-eqsue ‘P.S.Y.’

While the album does have the aforementioned highs, it isn’t without slight problems. The song ‘Lonesome Bulldog’ is, at first, a generally quite amusing parody of country music concerning a Mohatma Ghandi who has a taste for “convertibles and blonde-headed women”... But the fact that the song keeps being revisited as interludes further times during the albums length screams creative fatigue. These annoying revisits could have easily been replaced with any other crazy old shit that the band are usually so good at mustering up or even better – a new song entirely! The halfway stage of the album dips into slightly uninspired territory with another Sabbath pastiche, ‘No, I’m Ironman’ and the usual Surfers messy delivery of ‘Blindman’. Although, it is harsh to simply single these tracks out as weak when for the best experience, it would make much more sense to listen to album as a complete mass off disorientating noise.

PIOUHGD is perhaps the most often dismissed album from the Surfers, (let’s imagine AFTER THE ASTRONAUT really doesn’t exist for a second) it could just have been the turning point of the bands career which slowly directed them towards a more generic approach to music which old fans look back on with bemusement. Whatever it is viewed as, it remains an anomaly even in this nutty bands career and it definitely deserves a second listen. It might not be the sick and mindless perfection of LOCUST but it does have some tremendous high points.



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user ratings (55)
Chart.
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
GiaNXGX
December 22nd 2012


4865 Comments


Excellent album and I completely agree with your review. Most people that are into BS just listen to Electriclarryland, weird, because their back catalog is (for the most part) superb and way more experimental.

Liam8VIII
December 22nd 2012


91 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the comment! It annoyed me to see the overall 2.8 rating without any reviews, I thought deserved more love than that.

GiaNXGX
December 22nd 2012


4865 Comments


Nevermind. I bet half of those 2.5's come from people that didn't listened to the album and just wanted to bump their 'objectivity' balance. Sucks, Pioughd is really cool .-.

Cygnatti
December 22nd 2012


32732 Comments


cool band, haven't heard this album though

stabbler
September 6th 2013


1477 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

why the fuck is the average rating so low

sinsexsodomy
May 20th 2014


263 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^because a lot of people on here have crap taste in music

ArsMoriendi
August 20th 2018


24963 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I LOVE Butt Surfers' 80s work, but this album is doing nothing for me on first listen



It's so much tamer



I'm glad I checked Widowermaker today too since that's much better

Digging: Bjork - Vespertine

TheClansman95
August 20th 2018


1488 Comments


I don't even know what "noise rock" is. will have wikipedia fix this

ArsMoriendi
August 20th 2018


24963 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Noise rock evolved from punk



imagine if punk was super distorted, had a ton of feedback, and was more experimental in nature. It's a lot of fun a lot of the time usually

Source
August 21st 2018


8499 Comments


Only song I know by this band is pepper

Digging: Scanner - Hypertrace

ArsMoriendi
August 21st 2018


24963 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Pepper is nothing like their 80s stuff (which is better)



They were a lot noisier, punkier and weirder in the 80s. I recommend their albums Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac and Rembrant Pussyhorse



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