13 July 2008

Butthole Surfers -- Blind Eye Sees All

Live Buttholes from '85. We like their early '90s "rock" output more than their rambling shambling peeing in a whiffle ball bat Touch and Go catalogue, but we wanted a taste of that acid-drenched '80s live show and this is the only thing available. Cool to have something, but this one's kind of a letdown since it's all tribal bash-bash drumming and guitar noise and none of the strobe lights and penis surgery footage that put these guys on the map. The seizure inducing stuff and smoke machines are what did it, right? No one really liked the vibrato arpeggios did they?


Hmm. Well, it's still pretty neat to see a group of complete lunatics make such a racket for such a sizable crowd. Coolest part for us was how Paul Leary comes off like the band's big swinging dick; up on stage with short hair and slacks he takes on a whole slew of lead vocals where he just screams his fucking head off, all the while playing nothing but great, frantic, feedback-laden guitar solos. Sure, he hasn't fully realized his sustained, delay pedaled genius this early in his career, but it's pretty easy to see that he (and, heck, everyone) was committed to creating some of the strangest music you'd ever heard. "Frontman" Gibby Haynes is a hollering, saxaphoning lunatic, a guy that's either on his way to pathetic drug-damaged paranoia or is a free-form avant garde genius. And the rest of the guys? Solid basslines and mirror imaged drumkits lay down churning, pounding repetition. And then some guy plays a tuba. All of this concert footage really shows off the band's damaged frenzy, but knowing the full-on media assault they were known to put on just a year or two later you leave feeling kinda cheated.

And speaking of cheated, did you know that in '99 the band pissed off every single cool person by suing their former indie record label? Now they're trying out some reunion gigs, but will anyone even want to go? If they come to our neck of the woods, we'll think about it.

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