I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas
John E. Smoke
After the sonic overkill of 1987’s Locust Abortion Technician, the Butthole Surfers suddenly shifted gears and made what was at the time their most accessible album to date. The only barrier to entry was the band’s decision to leave the song titles off the record label in favor of some scatological cartoon drawings. Still, listening to the surprisingly melodic (sometimes even folk-rock) tunes, one could sometimes figure what the song might be called, even if it turned out to be “I Saw an X-Ray of a Girl Passing Gas” — which just might be the catchiest song on the album. The opener, “Jimi,” is a twelve-minute “tribute” to Hendrix from the inside out, obsessing on the late guitar player’s craziest, most experimental tendencies courtesy of Surfers’ guitarist Paul Leary’s string-mangling psychosis, while “John E. Smokes” shines its spotlight on the Surfers’ singer Gibby Haynes, who channels the vibe of a preacherman as he psychobabbles into delightful incoherency.