Butthole Surfers

After the Astronaut

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When compared to past albums like Rembrandt Pussyhorse and Independent Worm Saloon, the Butthole Surfers' After the Astronaut is rather tame. There's been a total change stylistically -- gone are the days of puzzling demented humor, real drums (almost the entire album features a beat box or drum machine of some sort), and shockingly over-the-top performances. Wildman Gibby Haynes used to have a singing style all his own, with distortion and other effects added to his voice, but now he seems to be caught in a rut, sounding uncannily like John Lydon at times ("Jet Fighter" and "Venus"). And there's also a shortage of material that leaves any sort of long-lasting impression. The band seems to be obsessed with water-related sound effects, used on "Yentel," "Mexico," and "I Don't Have a Problem." The only standout tracks on the album are the stiff and geeky "Intelligent Guy," and the album closer "Turkey & Dressing," which is the only song in which the band can muster up enough energy to almost match past spirited performances. Hopefully, this once-great cutting-edge band will wake up from their lackadaisical hibernation and make music that matters. [This album went unreleased when critical and label reception was unanimously negative, and Weird Revolution eventually came out in this album's place]

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