Humpty Dumpty LSD (Latino Buggerveil)
Reviewed by Ken Lieck, Fri., June 21, 2002
Butthole SurfersHumpty Dumpty LSD (Latino Buggerveil) There are certain descriptions that are rarely in reviews (positive or negative) of Butthole Surfers albums, chief among them "consistent." While every BHS disc is guaranteed to have its standout track, from the vulgar and enigmatic "Lady Sniff" to the cinnamon-and-sugary "Pepper," beyond that generally lies anarchy, an uneven mishmash of filler and genius connected only by the time period during which it was recorded. Without even a shared time period to hold the tracks together somewhat, it would seem that the decade-plus-spanning compilation of non-album tracks Humpty Dumpty LSD would be nothing short of musical anarchy, but guess what? The 16-song, 1982-94 set of songs holds together as well as any Butthole disc, if not better. The secret appears to be the band's choice to combine obscure but fan-favorite non-album selections evenly with out-of-left-field oddities freshly culled from the vault. The previously unknown 1983 home 8-track recording "Night of the Day" warns newcomers that something strange is afoot with four minutes of inane noodling, and then a lengthy "One Hundred Million People Dead," expanded from its previous appearance on the P.E.A.C.E. compilation, rips expectations apart like a shotgun blast. From there on, the formula continues to rinse and repeat through such forgotten classics as the rare hardcore exercise "I Hate My Job" (orig. from Cottage Cheese From the Lips of Death), the swirly, 1992 nitrous oxide fave "Ghandi" (from a promo 10-inch of tracks left off Independent Worm Saloon), and a rumbling take on the 13th Floor Elevators' "Earthquake" (from the Roky Erickson tribute Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye). There are a few more previously unreleased tunes, but everything here is scarce and interesting enough to merit a "real" release at last. Of course, none of this means anything to the musically unadventurous. As the Little Golden Book-inspired sleeve asks, "How many of these Butthole Surfers songs have you heard?" If your answer is "none," you probably won't make it through Humpty Dumpty before having a great fall. If your answer is "most all of them," you'll be delighted to have them all handily in one place to facilitate fixing yourself a nice plate of scrambled brains.