Butthole Surfers – “Locust Abortion Technician” (1987 / 2013)

Tonight I exorcised the last of my great musical demons.

I sat down and listened to Locust Abortion Technician from start to finish.

Well son,
A funny thing about regret is…
That it’s better to regret something you have done
Than to regret something you haven’t.

And by the way,
If you see your mom this weekend,
Be sure and tell her….
— “Sweet Loaf”

This is one of the three albums I’ve come across in my life that actually scared me musically. Not because of it’s cover art, though the clowns are creepy as hell. Nor the name of the album or the band. Or that bizarro picture on the jacket reverse. Nope. The music on Locust Abortion Technician was the bizarrest thing I’d ever heard circa 1988-89.

We spent a lot of time at my buddy John’s house during our senior year in high school, and his brother Dave had a great record collection. And one of his go-tos when we were all deep into whatever we were doing that night was the Butthole Surfers’ Locust Abortion Technician… particularly Side B. The side with “U.S.S.A.” and “Kuntz.” The side that left me unsettled and would cause me to spring awake in the middle of the night on the floor in a sleeping bag drenched in sweat.

And you know what? It doesn’t sound that weird today.

I mean, there’s stuff from before Locust Abortion Technician (1987) that sounds way the hell weirder. Like Psychic TV’s Those Who Do Not (1984) or The Pressure Company’s (aka Cabaret Voltaire) Live In Sheffield 19 Jan 82 or probably anything by Throbbing Gristle or Death in June. I mean it’s still weird, especially Side B. But some songs like “Human Cannonball” are pretty much straight punk rock. “Kuntz” is still trippy as hell, but after about three listenings it’s hardly anything unsettling. Time is the great equalizer.

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