Butthole Surfers
Pioughd


2.0
poor

Review

by Sean H. CONTRIBUTOR (121 Reviews)
February 18th, 2019 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Chapter 6: Get along, Lonesome Bulldog.

1991 is an interesting year when discussing the Surfers, as it seemed like everything was going to shit in the new decade. Teresa Nervosa had departed from the group not too long from then, Rough Trade Records, their label at the time, had gone under, and the group would sign on to Capitol Records, their first time on a major label. In addition, the group became a traitor against the underground in the eyes of many when they took legendary punk/noise rock label Touch and Go to court over the rights of their past works. Even if you ignore everything surrounding the band, they’d found a new direction, one that was distinctly less interesting and repulsive than before. Pardon any bitterness, but it's really hard to judge Piouhgd on its own merits when it’s own merits fail to stand on their own. After all, here they were in 1991, playing the antagonists in their own story.

Piouhgd is undeniably a watered down record from the Surfers. Tracks like “Revolution Part 2,” “Lonesome Bulldog,” “Golden Showers” feel reminiscent of the Hairway to Steven - quirky, noisy, pseudo-folksy rock with layers of distortion and purposefully over-simplistic melodies - but toned down even more. That’s not to mention that the second of those tracks is just a weak clone of “John E. Smoke” and something like “No, I’m Iron Man” and “P.S.Y.” are obnoxious, shrill, and awkward psych tracks that sound like scrapped Rembrandt Pussyhorse b-sides (although I’d hope that era of the band would have the sense not to record a tame 12 minute snoozefest like “P.S.Y.”). So, especially after accounting for an incredibly dumpy and loathsome rerecording of “Something” and a somewhat decent, if not pointless, cover of Donovan’s “The Hurdy Gurdy Man,” it’s plain to see that Piouhgd’s strong suit isn’t it’s ingenuity or it’s eccentricities.

Unfortunately, the record also fails from a structural standpoint, with a central, recurring focus on “Lonesome Bulldog,” with an astounding 4 tracks being built on this subpar melody. What comes in between are forgettable songs that fail the overall composition in the realms of pacing. Every song, from the “Jimi”-borrowing “Blindman” to the exceptionally flat approach to Locust Abortion Technician style sonic experimentation on “Barking Dogs,” go on for way too long for way too long without keeping the listener’s attention.

But these are things that the band barely cared about before, but now, the group faces a problem. By softening their blow, they have to make a choice, do they want to make accessible, psych and folk tinged garage rock or ballbusting, subversive, and abstract noise rock❓ You can’t have it both ways, as the former requires less repetition and more regularly enjoyable melodies and the latter requires the boldness/idiocy to blast the Gibbytronix as loud as possible and to go all out, a la the band’s classic era material. But, really, it's naive to expect anything like the later to show up as the first post-Touch and Go release, especially when this was eventually repressed on Capitol. During the days of Nirvana (NOTE: this originally came out before Nevermind but the Capitol release was put out in '92, when Nirvana was catching the imaginations of many), many of Kurt Cobain’s favorite bands were getting their chance to widen their fan bases and net gains and, well, the Surfers were always going to have a harder time than the Meat Puppets or Mudhoney. Piouhgd sounds like exactly what it is, the Surfers creating a smorgasbord of rotten leftovers in the attempt to transition their old sound into this new era for them. In order to achieve that success, they’d need to try something else...



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user ratings (58)
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Liam8VIII (4)
Probably the most often dismissed album in the Surfers back catalogue, complete with tremendous high...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2019


2895 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Stream the album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W5UjGHA1Us

Chapter 6...

Previous Review: https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/78897/Butthole-Surfers-Hairway-to-Steven/

Next Review: https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/79103/Butthole-Surfers-Independent-Worm-Saloon/#comments

Digging: Streetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes Numb

ArsMoriendi
February 18th 2019


27067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I like Revolution Part II and that's it.





Rev I and Golden Showers are "fine"

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Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2019


2895 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hurdy Gurdy Man is fun

ArsMoriendi
February 18th 2019


27067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really hate that one actually

ArsMoriendi
February 18th 2019


27067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm kinda sad you skipped Widowermaker since I love that one, 3/4 of the songs on there are classics

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2019


2895 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Maybe I'll give it another shot

ArsMoriendi
February 18th 2019


27067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Booze, Tobacco, Dope, Pussy, Cars is like top 5 Surfers imo

Kompys2000
February 18th 2019


3143 Comments


I found the Hurdy Gurdy Man EP with Barking Dogs on it at a thrift store years ago and I remember it being really mediocre.

Good review, one of these days I'll discog these guys and probably like this more than you do lol

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 18th 2019


2895 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's ultimately a great discog

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


3323 Comments


almost picked up an album from these guys at a local electronics shop but opted for spaghetti rag by lyons and yosco, what album should I start with to get into these guys blooner? sweet review brother

ArsMoriendi
February 19th 2019


27067 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm not Bloon, but people tend to universally love Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac if any Surfer album, that and their s/t EP

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 19th 2019


2895 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It depends, if you want dumbest noise rock - psychic powerless / s/t

If you want sonic experimentation- Locust Abortion Technician

If you want grungy, kitsch alt rock that's still really bizarre- independent worm saloon



Drifter
February 19th 2019


16053 Comments


" In addition, the group became a trader against the underground in the eyes of many when they took "

is this supposed to be traitor instead of trader?

"it’s plain to see that [/i]Piouhgd[/i]’s strong suit isn’t it’s engineuity or it’s eccentricities."

plus this is messed up

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2019


2895 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks chief, must have missed those

Kompys2000
February 20th 2019


3143 Comments


I'm just gonna assume "asstounding" is intentional though (:

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2019


2895 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Lmao let's go with it

donttakeapicture
February 20th 2019


59 Comments


This band is just further proof that Kurt Cobain didn't have the best taste in music...

SharkTooth
February 20th 2019


14134 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

that comment is just further proof that you have shit taste in music



also holy shit a BH discog run? I'mma check your past reviews now

Drifter
February 20th 2019


16053 Comments


I think ingenuity is still spelled wrong in the last sentence of the second paragraph

naughtcturnal
February 23rd 2019


1261 Comments


wtf kurt cobain was a rock music connoisseur

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