Sunday, 14 September 2008

This is House-Music, Butt...

Take the number 'Swingers' Club': rapid notes from a stun-guitar, paired-down beats and dissonant loops accompanied by Gibby Haynes screaming through a bull horn: not exactly what you’d consider house-music in its purest form, but a House Record this is.

In the years 1990 and 1991, it seems the members of the Butthole Surfers had a lot of time on their hands. And the muse was good to them.
Piouhgd was in the can by mid-1990, but their new label Rough Trade decided to release 'Hurdy Gurdy Man' as a preemptive e.p.

Neither Gibby Haynes or Paul Leary had expressed any great enthusiasm for Piouhgd, and this lack of belief may have been partly responsible for the band drifting apart; attracted by the creative freedom and liberty offered with side-projects.

King Coffey appeared to have the greatest itch, and created the independent record label Trance Syndicate (later to put out Roky Erikson, Coffey's own band: Drain, and ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead); Paul Leary went off and put together his excellent The History of Dogs; and Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus, not to be outdone, devised a little 'Dance Music' project, and the short-lived Jackofficers were born.

Pinkus, one of the vast number of bassists the Surfers had on their books throughout their career (they used-up bassists like Spinal Tap used drummers), through longevity seemed to have found a permanent place with the band; permanent enough for Haynes to take him along for the ride; and what a strange, crazy ride it is.

Sample heavy: everything from Hendrix and James Brown to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Mission Impossible to cult British TV and a selection of wimpish utterances from bathetic Ollie North (remember him?).

The style changes from song to song. Absurd ('L.A. Mama Peanut Butter'); singalong ('Do It') and even commercial [?] ('#6').
Some tracks are very dancy and at times this album sounds a little like Orbital or the Propellorheads (appearing a good four years or so before either of those bands made their own breakthroughs), and at other times you are firmly reminded of its genetical inheritance, as occasionally it really kicks ass and wigs out; especially during the aforementioned 'Swingers' Club', the best track on the album: manic and intense, chaotic and frantic, perfectly emulating the live sound that was so associated with underground and psychedelic music of that time.
And dance music had firmly infiltrated into the underground, influencing all areas of alternative music.

Rough Trade, which was so often the case, were able to capture and package this sound so well; both on this album and on the Jackofficers' label mates the Gaye Bykers on Acid's Pernicious Nonsense, which Rough Trade also released at the beginning of the new decade.
If you know that album, when you listen to Digital Dump, comparisons are inevitable.

The final track 'Flush' really does break the rules.
Very bleak and sombre. Very dark, sludgy, and rather Scorn-like.
Impossible to dance to: a total floor-clearer.
The end of an album; the end of a night; the end of a band; and in some ways, very much the end of an era.

The Jackofficers - Digital Dump (1990)

Time Machines (Parts 1 & 2)
L.A. Mama Peanut Butter
Do It
Swingers' Club
Ventricular Refibulation
Don't Touch That
An Hawaiian Christmas Song

Get it here


Anonymous said...

Another great share. This was such a quirky dance affair. Can't wait to hear it again.

?uoy nac won , reah dna ees uoy gnihtyreve eveileb t'nac uoy ,wonk lla ew sA

roy rocket said...

Thank you.

Love that comment!

Michael said...

Still got this along with all the Butts vinyl I could find. HATED this album though. What was it with Gibby and hiphop???

Jeb Edwards said...

I haven't heard this since my college radio days, when the album was new! Thank you so much for posting this. :)

roy rocket said...


harleytexas said...

I had this on cd and promptly got rid of it....nice that at least it might find an audience.

Anonymous said...

I love this blog i have just discoverd.... downloaded all your BHS related stuff, except for paul leary as i got it....i been looking all over for this and finally got it, cheers!

Zappa bootleg post anytime soon? ;)

-d said...

GodDamn!!!! this blog is great. I've already got so much out of it. Please, keep 'em coming. I have a (note really) similar site over at It's more funk stuff but there is Captain Beefheart's original Bat Chain Puller. and some Melvins....

Thanks again.

Mwncïod said...

I bought this being a big Butthole's fan, from Our Price (remember them?) in Peterborough ...absolutely hated it and got rid of it yonks ago!

roy rocket said...

Aah - ya gotta love it.
But you miss it, don't you, don't you, you miss it, go on, admit it!

Mwncïod said...

Damn! You've rumbled me ...yes I bloody miss it!!

roy rocket said...


But now you can grumble at it all over again: 'The long haired drug-crazed hippies'. roy