Review Revue: The Butthole Surfers - Locust Abortion Technician

LocustAbortionTechnician

Man, who would have thought a band called Butthole Surfers -- with an album titled Locust Abortion Technician -- would generate such a heated discussion amongst the KCMU staffers?


Of course, the Butthole Surfers (or, as I recall them being referred to in print in some of the more delicate newspapers, the “B.H. Surfers” -- apparently their name was an issue on the radio, too) have always thrived on pushing the envelope of taste, and pushing listeners’ buttons, since their beginnings in the early ’80s. Their shocking live antics, combined with their intense, thrilling music, pretty much guaranteed them nationwide attention. I think it’s safe to say that the American musical landscape -- from Nirvana to the Flaming Lips -- would be very different if it weren’t for the Surfers and their deviant ways.

Locust Abortion Technician is the band’s third full-length album, and many deem it their finest. It also has been referred to by some as a precursor to grunge music, which makes me really curious what Seattle folks thought of it at the time.

Our more sensitive readers should be cautioned that the following commentaries contain adult language and anti-establishment politics, and do not necessarily represent the views of this author or the current KEXP staff.

“Butthole -- yucko! What an offensive word. Hey what else can we call these guys?”

“How about ‘Fuck You’?”

“Bill Hartnett...”

“Shithole?”

“C’mon!”

“Oh Jeez! Sorry! I was so serious!”

“Back Door Surfers.”

“Say the ‘Butt’ and you can no longer say the word ‘Hole’ afterwards. ‘Surfers’ or ‘Buttonhole Surfers.”

“FCC Surfers?”

“Butter Surfers or Buttholycow Surfers, Butt Hair Surfers.”

“Yeah!”

“By Henry we can’t say that word anymore -- surfers.”

“... and don’t be afraid to say BUTTHOLE.”

“‘Sweat Loaf’ - 5 *s. ’22 -> 23 - zillion *s. ‘Graveyard’ - not bad either. ‘O-Men’ -- U-Men.”

“Thank god for the Butthole Surfers; what a band!”

“Nice Cover.”

“Blast off!”

“Betcha this clown artist was surprised.”

“This is weird (like me).”

“Great LP!!!”

“Mork Mork Mork”

“Hey, Jersey, there are some great Moos on ’22 Going on 23′ at the end.”

“‘O-Men’ is a parody of U-Men singer John Bigley. Listen for the yelps. This vinyl is inspiring for subversives everywhere. Stamp of rock approval!!!!”

“Luckily Ed Meese is fuckin’ himself and Tipper Gore’s hubbie won’t be president. [Wow, how prescient!] Butthole Blues -- Genius.”

“But now Tipper is the wife of the Vice Prez. [Which means that folks were writing on this record for at least five years!]”

“This sounds pretty worn already. Can we get a new copy?”

“I get the feeling that after these clowns get done listening to this record they’re going to have sex with this dog.”

“MARSH! Stop that.”

“Butt Hole Butt Hole Butt Hole -- How about Ass Hole Surfers or maybe the Shit-Cunts? Fuck you Ed Meese.”

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2 Comments

  1. coffeystain
    Posted February 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    The first time I listened to this album in a 400 square foot apartment in Philadelphia I had eaten about an eighth ounce of mushrooms and nearly jumped out a of a window. Instead I defecated for 2 hours with work “KUNTZ” echoing in my sphincter.

  2. Damon Creed
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    What a great coincidence. Surfed (har!) by here today to take a look at Review Revue and looky here, it’s the Butthole Surfers. Just a little earlier this evening, “22 Going On 23″ came up on my iTunes shuffle. Still a stormer of song. This is the Butts’ finest outing with the almighty triumvirate of Sweatloaf, 22 Going On 23 and Graveyard. Meanwhile, O-Men and Kuntz are right up there, too. Not only did the band name cause grief for the aurally sensitive, but care had to be taken when announcing Kuntz. The safe for airplay pronunciation was “coonts.” For you Kuntz fans, check this out from the WFMU blog http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/01/one_for_the_but.html

    I’m surprised this record has any grooves left it was played so heavily back in the day. The first 1:30 of Sweatloaf is probably scratchy beyond belief. One of the greatest opening moments of any album of any era.... “And by the way son, if you see your mother this weekend, could you tell her SATAN! SATAN! SATAN!”

    What is now the Hi-Life restaurant in Ballard was once the Ballard Firehouse bar/nightclub. The Butts performed one of the all time great Seattle shows there. You truly had to be there.

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