Butthole Surfers
Humpty Dumpty LSD


4.5
superb

Review

by Sean H. CONTRIBUTOR (107 Reviews)
April 9th, 2019 | 3 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Epilogue: A reminder…

Ending on the tragically snore-inducing Weird Revolution feels sour, it feels like an improper send off to a remarkably special band. I’ve said my fair share of negative things about the Butthole Surfers throughout this series, but, for most of their career, they were one of the most starkly advantageous and utterly brave bands of their time. They had a hand in leading rock music in a much more dangerous direction (along with other noise rock bands like Flipper and Killdozer), and at the same time served as a parody of how overblown and over-the-top rock music was and would become. A band full of paradoxes, the thing that made them underground legends - their prideful willingness to do anything - would also be their downfall. Their refusal to take any part of their craft seriously or traditionally led to glorious triumphs and embarrassing blunders. But those blunders fail to cast a shadow over the peak Surfers material.

Take Humpty Dumpty LSD, a collection of demos and unreleased tracks from 1982 to 1994, which, in addition to showcasing a scattered variation in sounds, served as a reminder in 2002 of why so many people loved the Surfers. While it’s definitely a collection of somewhat incomplete and unorganized ideas, it's rare that a demo compilation reaches a height such as this. Much of the record, while unabashedly Surfers in nature, shows the group experimenting with different styles, and, as a result, this compilation covers a lot of ground. “Just a Boy” and “I Hate My Job” are uncharacteristically straightforward punk tracks. “Space I” and “Space II” are deeply atmospheric cuts that feel like an astral take on Rembrandt Pussyhorse and Locust Abortion Technician respectively. “One Hundred Million People Dead” and “Eindhoven Chicken Masque” both have unfolding song progressions where the atmosphere gets deeper and filthier. Other songs like “Ghandi,” “Hetero Skeleton,” and “Day Of The Dying Alive” all containing heaping helpings of Gibbytronix distortion and sampling, with sludgy tones and harsh feedback layered thick in the background the the assumedly sweaty stench of the Texan hooligans themselves.

Cohesion is far from the name of the game, making Humpty Dumpty LSD hard to talk about as a whole, but there are definitely overarching themes. Pretty much every song sounds like a postmodern apocalypse, especially the Daniel Johnston-featuring “All Day” and the aptly titled “One Hundred Million People Dead.” Even the material with straightforward structures sound like a irradiated version of what the Surfers are emulating, such as the 13th Floor Elevators cover and the Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac…-esque “I Love You Peggy.” The compilation is also coated, soaked even, in that sweet, sugary toxic waste that you've come to expect from the band. Something in that sound, that fuzzy, hellish sound, is addictive. It leaves you wanting more, even after 69 minutes of Surfers brand goodness.

Humpty Dumpy LSD reminded me why I love the Surfers after quite a few disappointing projects. It’s a somewhat unsettling collection of tracks and, while it slightly lacks in album structure, it’s too repulsive to deny. I don’t know how this comeback will go over, I don’t even know if we’re going get that promised album anytime soon, let alone if it will be worth it, but I do know that it doesn't really matter. Even if they can’t pull together another masterwork (or even just a solid record), we still have their classic material. We still have our reminders.



Recent reviews by this author
Big Business The Beast You AreButthole Surfers Weird Revolution
Butthole Surfers ElectriclarrylandImprecation Damnatio ad Bestias
Chief Keef GloTovenMeat Puppets Dusty Notes
user ratings (20)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2019


2629 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stream here: https://open.spotify.com/album/32d7NB1GGJ3SM207LeelD2?si=P_AIoHS-QHGtf2nx4Vt2pw

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

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

POP THE CHAMPAGNE BOYS! THE SURFERS SERIES IS OVER!

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

Drifter
April 9th 2019


15392 Comments


Great review Bloon. Loved reading all of these. Are you gonna do a series for any other artists?

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2019


2629 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

idk man this was really hard hahahaha

thank you!



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