Butthole Surfers

The Hole Truth...and Nothing Butt

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Originally released as a bootleg by the shadowy Totonka outfit, The Hole Truth got the highest form of legitimacy around when Surfers' drummer King Coffey simply took a copy and released it on his own label Trance Syndicate. More bands and labels should be so clever: given its bootleg origins, The Hole Truth sounds fairly good throughout on its collection of mostly live material, including an early 1983 studio demo featuring the song "Butthole Surfer" and three numbers from a date on the Saloon tour. As a ten-year snapshot of the band's evolution from freakish punk weirdness into a more professional but no less insane band, it's manna from heaven for the hardcore fan. Casual listeners probably shouldn't start here, but could find a lot to like nonetheless. Some of the best moments come from hindsight; the 1983 demo of "Something," a slow stomp and throb with what almost sounds like a horn section coming from Leary's deathdrone guitar work, sounds utterly unlike the Pioughd version. Haynes' screeching makes everything even nuttier. The four songs from a 1985 San Antonio gig are mighty strong, with a straightforward version of "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and a snippet of the Beatles' "Come Together" as a bit of out of nowhere fun. Other highlights include an even more ridiculous version of "Lady Sniff" taped in San Francisco in 1986 and a 1987 interview on a New York college station featuring various insults about Oliver North and bizarre takes on "Kum Ba Yah" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

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