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Reviewed by Margaret Moser, September 3, 2004, Music

Gibby Haynes & His Problem

(Surfdog) No one who discovered the Butthole Surfers through their radio hits will be surprised at Gibby Haynes' solo debut. Gibby Haynes & His Problem is an LP of unexpectedly catchy alt.pop that avoids genre banality by employing the singer's trademark irreverent lyrics. The 11 tracks sound astonishingly commercial, and while Problem may disappoint those still hoping for more "Jesus Built My Hotrod"-style antics, it will satisfy the legions won over by "Pepper." That might be viewed by fans of the Surfers' Rembrandt Pussyhorse era as sacrilege, but it's still Mr. Haynes' Wild Ride. Witness the Gibbytronix opener, "Kaiser," where he croons electronically, "I'll be the Kaiser, you'll wear the diapers" and the short catchy groove of their newest titty bar staple, "Redneck Sex." A spew-of-consciousness rolls "Superman" up with typical bluntness, "Superman's got killer weed; he got it from Dan Rather," a reference likely to make the esteemed journalist wish for a remake of "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" The most surprising aspect of His Problem is how melodic tracks like "Letter" and "Woo" are. Better still is the confluence of punk, psych, and heavy metal provided by bandmates Kyle Ellison, Shandon Sahm, and Nathan Calhoun, responsible for the sonic muscle of "Charlie," "Stop Foolin," "I Need Some Help," and "15000." It's a most appealing modern psychedelic sound that finds "Dream Machine" vaguely 13th Floor Elevators-ish, while the lead guitar on "Nights" pays homage to the Seeds' "Pushing Too Hard." Look at it this way, what form of music could use a frozen jackboot in the ass more than pop? And who better than Gibby Haynes to deliver it?


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