The Melvins and the Butthole Surfers were two of the most influential rock acts to emerge from the shadows of the genre’s underground in the ‘80s. While they were separated by a half a continent — the Melvins were from the Pacific Northwest, while the Butthole Surfers hailed from Texas — they both trafficked in absurdist, pedal-to-the-floor psych. And in 2018, the Melvins added Butthole Surfers’ bassist Jeff Pinkus in addition to their ongoing bass player Steven McDonald (see: TWO bassists) to write a record. To celebrate this (unholy?) union, we recently asked Buzz Osborne for his favorite Butthole Surfers tracks. Check out his picks and commentary below, subscribe to the playlist here, and listen to the new Melvins release, Pinkus Abortion Technician, here.
“Bar-B-Q Pope,” Brown Reason to Live. First recorded song I ever heard of theirs and I never tire of it.
“Something,” Brown Reason to Live. Paul’s vocals and guitar make this song feel like you’re having a heart attack.
“Moving to Florida,” The Hole Truth and Nothing Butt. The live version of this was always better. This happens. Songs get better as time passes and you’ve played them live 1,000 times. Sometimes though, you just wish songs were dead.
“Graveyard,” The Hole Truth and Nothing Butt. This is one of their best. REALLY great guitar part. Jeff told me Paul wrote it while trying to figure out what Gibby was playing in the other room. THAT’S Paul’s genius.
“Cherub,” Psychic… Powerless… Another Mans Sac. Possibly the best song ever recorded. Why hasn’t this been used on the soundtrack of a movie? If only Hollywood wasn’t so fucking stupid.
“Negro Observer,” Psychic… Powerless… Another Mans Sac. Beautiful song with really hypnotic vocals. I think this should be used as the theme for a sitcom. If only Hollywood wasn’t so fucking stupid.
“Mexican Caravan,” Psychic… Powerless… Another Mans Sac. I love the guitar solo in this song and I’ve used it for years as a model for a lot of my own guitar solos. This fucker is nice and uptempo too.
“Sweat Loaf,” Locust Abortion Technician. In concert, Paul and Jeff would have high-kicking contests during this song. What a great idea! I should try to get Jeff to do those kicks in one of our songs…
“Shame of Life,” Weird Revolution. There were girls in the front, there were girls in the back, there were girls petting squirrels, there were squirrels smoking crack.