The most recent album by Texas-based art-punk octopi the Butthole Surfers. While most people are familiar with this for "that one song" (Pepper, admittedly a very good song), it is actually a very, very good record. It mixes a variety of styles very smoothly and manages to rock hard, freak out, calm down, and even be insightful.

The variety of styles on the album is impressive, most impressive. It goes from straight-ahead fast punk like "Birds" and "Ulcer Breakout" to kick out the jams rock and roll like "Cough Syrup", "Thermador", and "L.A.." There's also a couple of laid-back, folky songs like "Jingle of a Dog's Collar" and "TV Star", and a couple of crazy freak-outs ("My Brother's Wife", "Let's Talk About Cars", and "Space"). Then there's a few unclassifiable, ultra-cool songs like "Pepper", "Ah Ha", and "The Lord is a Monkey."

The album rocks, and hard. There's some great guitar-riffing, some solid bass (the superfast line on "Ulcer Breakout" kicks too much ass), and some stomping drumwork. Gibby Haynes maniacal, distorted vocals are priceless and brilliant. There's some very good lyrics too . . . I personally love the line "everybody loves freedom, you'll find it inside your head / everybody loves Jesus, you'll meet him when you are dead" from "Thermador."

Anyways, go buy it. The Butthole Surfers are a truly original, creative band, something that is very rare in this day and age. And if you could appreciate "Pepper", chances are you might like the rest of this monstrosity too. I'm listening to it right now.

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