Butthole Surfers - Butthole Surfers (Cover Artwork)

Butthole Surfers

Butthole Surfers: Butthole Surfers

Butthole Surfers (1983)

Alternative tentacles


3.5
This is the debut EP from the legendary Hardcore (early)/Noise Rock/Psychedelic band the Butthole Surfers. Recorded in 1982 and released in 1983 on Alternative Tentacles, this EP proved that Punk bands could exist from Texas and be totally weird. Jello Biafra thought so as well when he w...

This is the debut EP from the legendary Hardcore (early)/Noise Rock/Psychedelic band the Butthole Surfers.

Recorded in 1982 and released in 1983 on Alternative Tentacles, this EP proved that Punk bands could exist from Texas and be totally weird. Jello Biafra thought so as well when he witnessed the band perform live opening for Dead Kennedys and T.S.O.L.. He offered to reimburse whatever studio they picked if they could get time to record something.

The result of those recordings is the introduction to one of the most brash, crazy, and downright awesome bands of the early Hardcore and College Rock scene. With nonsensical lyrics that are barely intelligible, lead vocalist Gibby Haynes and guitarist Paul Leary show off their full force of Art meets Rock through rancid combustions of sleazy truth and irony and don’t care what happens as an outcome (*read the story of Daniel Johnston dropping acid and seeing the band live and losing his mind in the process*). As for the music itself, it is thrashy, ugly, moody, noisy, and awesome. The Butthole Surfers were not ones to go for simple song structures. Instead they were experimental for the sake of their own entertainment and if you happened to have seen them live in those early days you were perhaps witnessing one of the greatest American live acts ever (in some people’s opinion of course…).

With eight tracks totaling a time of 18 minutes and 45 seconds, you get a diverse arrangement of “songs” and topics. Tracks like "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave" and "Suicide," appear to be mockeries and awful attempts on purpose of the Hardcore Punk style that was rising in popularity at the time in America. In addition, there is the track "The Revenge of Anus Presley" which seems to parodying Black Flag and Henry Rollins as well as the songs "Hey" and "Bar-B-Q Pope," which showed an early version of their more Psychedelic sound they’d become accustomed to in later years.

There is a bit of controversy over the actual name of the EP (funny how that is the only thing controversial here…). It was originally released Self-Titled, but later editions have it called Brown Reason to Live and Pee Pee the Sailor. If you find it today it’ll most likely have the Brown Reason to Live title since that is what Alternative Tentacles sells it as. (green reissue out now and limited to 1000 copies!)

So yeah, this is the debut of San Antonio darlings the Butthole Surfers. An interesting starting place, this will hopefully give you interest in checking out their more experimental later years that are insanely terrific and mind bending. Also, look up footage from their older shows, specifically one that took place at the Danceteria in early 1986 that has become the stuff of legend.

Dig it…