Butthole Surfers

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Independent Worm Saloon

Butthole Surfers - Independent Worm Saloon ©1993 Capitol
1. Who Was In My Room Last Night?
2. The Wooden Song
3. Tongue
4. Chewin' George Lucas' Chocolate
5. Goofy's Concern
6. Alcohol
7. Dog Inside Your Body
8. Strawberry
9. Some Dispute Over T-shirt Sales
10. Dancing Fool
11. You Don't Know Me
12. The Annoying Song
13. Dust Devil
14. Leave Me Alone
15. Edgar
16. The Ballad Of Naked Man
17. Clean It Up

Having existed at the fringe of unaltered reality for quite some time, Butthole Surfers began their courtship of the supposed mainstream in 1993 with Independent Worm Saloon, mostly due to the groove-driven single "Who Was In My Room Last Night?". Independent Worm Saloon certainly qualifies for one of the most eclectic and varied descents into insanity to catch even the edge of mainstream. The combination of Gibby Haynes, who sounds like the hybrid bastard offspring of a pleasant lounge singer and a lawnmower, the psycho-delic guitar weavings of Paul Leary and the perfectly in place drumming of King Coffey results in a record that is often disturbing while being completely hummable and toe tapping at the same time. The inclusion of bizarre spoken word moments, such as the rather stomach wrenching bit of "Chewin' George Lucas' Chocolate", only furthers the insanity. The most notable thing about this album is the ability of the Surfers to write and perform what should be a very normal, pedestrian song and still leave the listener feeling as though something in their fundamental ethics has been violated. Paired with some of the more abrasive tracks like the nearly unlistenable "Alcohol" or the aptly named "The Annoying Song", friendly tunes like "The Wooden Song" only seem more confusing. The songs have such wide range and often an innate catchiness that the album is entirely infectious. "You Don't Know Me" is downright bouncy in its straightforward approach, although Haynes can't resist some occasional twists in his vocal delivery.

While the album might be a tad difficult to sit entirely through (I've certainly never been able to do it), Independent Worm Saloon is a thoroughly entertaining and pleasantly warped item of modern rock. At the very least, half of the tracks here will become personal favorites and there is much to offer anyone who likes left field music.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/2000

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