Butthole Surfers
Electriclarryland


2.5
average

Review

by Sean H. CONTRIBUTOR (107 Reviews)
March 31st, 2019 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Chapter 8: The B***H**** Surfers

Electriclarryland, one of those albums we've all seen on store shelves. Much like the works of Barry Manilow and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, this record is damned to bargain bins across America. With its unfortunate cover and attention grabbing album name, this 1996 full-length is one you've probably noticed on clearance racks at a 2nd and Charles or on a Goodwill shelf between an *NSYNC Christmas album and Dido’s Life for Rent and promptly forgot about. This secondhand pariah status isn't exactly undeserved, after all, as the Surfers were no longer your band’s favorite sonic provocateurs when that CD was pressed; they were soon-to-be-one hit wonders with importance placed on attempted catchy melodies and alternative rock sensibilities. And, while this might have worked on Independent Worm Saloon due to its strong writing and effective transition from experimental to accessible, Electriclarryland is no longer an attempt to keep the Butthole in the Surfers; it’s an average Beck-esque shot at achieving crossover appeal, which worked for one hit.

That hit, “Pepper,” is one of the stronger songs on the record, with a strange “Loser” meets Independent Worm Saloon style that makes for quirky earworm with a slightly dangerous edge. Other songs, like “Jingle Of A Dog’s Collar” and “Cough Syrup,” are built around a strong hook that carries any flaws the tracks may have, but a few solid tracks are hardly enough to carry a record. “Ulcer Breakout,” “Thermador,” “Aha Ha,” the Rob Zombie-ripping “The Lord Is A Monkey,” and “L.A.” are all murky, samey-sounding, superficially fuzzy stadium rockers with little in the markets of originality, experimentation, or fun. That’s also not to mention the similarly half-hearted attempt at sound manipulation on the obnoxious “My Brother’s Wife,” the shallow country twang on “TV Star,” and the snore-inducing nothing that is “Let’s Talk About Cars,” all highlighting a major problem with this record. Electriclarryland embodies the dated, cynical irony that reigned supreme in the nineties. Not that the Surfers have ever been serious or anything less than mocking, it’s just that, much in the vein of the come-and-gone sarcastic zeitgeist, the irony here lacks wit, intrigue, or any reason to exist, other than the fact that it’s what everyone else was doing.

Even with all its flaws, its somewhat hard to hate Electriclarryland, mostly due to how hard it is to care about. It’s standard, milquetoast, and boring, it tastes like a unsalted cracker, it sounds like a band who values money more than quality. This group, one that originally spat in the face of popular conventions or, on the last album, at least approach that zeitgeist with a skewed vision, was now a hallmark example of a b-list alternative rock band, with a record that many bought, but no one really wanted 12 months after the fact. Electriclarryland misses the mark consistently, with only a few highlight tracks that, if we're being honest, sound like an entirely different band made them. It’s a disappointing effort, to say the least, but it will live on in the bargain bin.



Recent reviews by this author
Big Business The Beast You AreButthole Surfers Humpty Dumpty LSD
Butthole Surfers Weird RevolutionImprecation Damnatio ad Bestias
Chief Keef GloTovenMeat Puppets Dusty Notes
user ratings (206)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Pechorin (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
March 31st 2019


2629 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Stream here: https://open.spotify.com/album/7nawZF1eeyTGbrL9OsOCwz?autoplay=true&v=L

Thanks to Marskid for helping me out with editing...

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

Next Review: https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/79321/Butthole-Surfers-Weird-Revolution/



Digging: Various Artists - Dope-Guns-'n-Fucking in the Streets: Volumes 1-3

ArsMoriendi
March 31st 2019


25790 Comments


I sort of have no interest in this one

Pepper is boring and that's supposed to be the best

Digging: Submotion Orchestra - Finest Hour

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
March 31st 2019


2629 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

jingle of a dog's collar is my favorite



MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
March 31st 2019


8940 Comments


Ey, nice to see the finished product. Well done as per usual, another great addition. Its It's fun to spotlight bands like this

Allergist
March 31st 2019


586 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I remember this album being big. BH were primarily underground but this one somehow scraped them into the mainstream eye. Its got some decent tracks but it’s not a good descriptor of their sound.

Source
March 31st 2019


10191 Comments


oh yeah this album cover

Digging: Last Crack - Burning Time

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2019


2629 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

really bad album cover yeah

Tchitcherine
April 1st 2019


194 Comments


What's the deal with this band, why are there so many reviews all the time?

dronert
April 1st 2019


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Boohoo, not their finest hour. But Cough Syrup IS a classic though

ArsMoriendi
April 1st 2019


25790 Comments


"What's the deal with this band, why are there so many reviews all the time?"

Bloon is doing a discog run for reviews. Staff will do this time to time with a band they like because they want them to all have staff reviews, also because series are fun

granitenotebook
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2019


882 Comments


“ Goodwill shelf between an *NSYNC Christmas album and Dido’s Life for Rent ”
accurate lol. very good review

SandwichBubble
April 1st 2019


9543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just needs a copy of R.E.M.'s Monster

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2019


2629 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@tch ars pretty much summed it up, only thing is my main reason for doing this is cuz i find their discog really interesting

Tchitcherine
April 1st 2019


194 Comments


I should give it a try



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy