The Sentinel

micro-blog from music lovers sharing their passion

Category Archives: Avant-Retard

Butthole Surfers – The O-Men

Demented Noise Rock from the Texans 1987 magnum opus, ‘Locust Abortion Technician’.


Nurse With Wound – Elderly Man River/Dance of Fools

Mind-boggling head-fuckery from the mighty Nurse With Wound, with 2 tracks from 1985 (the first of which also appears on their classic album ‘Sylvie & Babs; also released in 1985). ‘Elderly Man River’ sounds like Faust on Benzodiazepine’s, whilst ‘Dance With Fools’ is oozing with moronic evil.

“Never eat anything bigger than your head”.

Amon Düül – Bitterlings Verwandlung

The closing track to the band’s debut album, 1969’s ‘Psychedelic Underground’ sums up this ramshackle, brutal, direct Krautrock collective perfectly. After a sample snippet the caveman Kraut kicks into full effect. Wonderful, wonderful stuff and the essence of the slew of German Avant-Rock that was to follow. Tough as old boots.

Renaldo & the Loaf – Letters From Lee

An insane tape loop collage and Loaf like voice treatments typical of the bands early materials. This was originally on the cassette version of their debut album “Struve & Sneff”(1979), which they released on their own Rotcod label. This piece didn’t make the cut for the Ralph Records vinyl of the album, and would certainly have been the most abstract track on the album if it had.

Butthole Surfers – Sweat Loaf

It’s probably safe to say that everyone can remember the first time they saw the moniker of this Texan band. The sound of their music lived up to the lurid name; with the outfit delivering fratboy Psychedelia that was raw, funny, juvenile, slapstick, and usually quite frightening.
Here they opened their ‘Locust Abortion Technician’ (1986) album with an irreverent cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Sweet Leaf’. The intro to this track became famous in itself, and was sampled by Orbital on their track ‘Satan’, which, if I’m honest, doesn’t stand the test of time and sounds as awful as something that the Chemical Brothers would have produced. This track on the other hand, still does it. Raw, raucous, blood-splattered Rawk peppered with maniacal vocals courtesy of “Gibbytronix”; interspersed with sections of blissful, psychedelia that propels you among the clouds, before the next descend into loony toon hell.

Renaldo & the Loaf – Melvyn’s Repose

Tape loop shenanigans from the Swinging Larvae -era. Check out the loop at the one minute mark; hellish under certain, enhanced circumstances, but to this listener it has a haunting beauty. Portsmouth’s finest!

Renaldo & the Loaf – Lime Jelly Grass

This is where the madness starts! The opening track to the gaggle of lysergic tape-loops, toy drums, and candy-coloured chants that is their 1980 masterpiece ‘Songs For Swinging Larvae’.

Die Trip Computer Die – 7th Beatle

Some wayward Sampledelia and nonsense from ex Homosexuals members. This is from their 2006 album ‘Die Like Rock’.

Black Dice – Snarly Yow

The opener from the bands 2005 album ‘Broken Ear Record’ set out the stall for their new direction post-drummer; which means busted, whacked out Electro on a serious dose of Psilocybin. Wonder at the mashed-ness of it all.

Butthole Surfers – Graveyard

This is the first version of ‘Graveyard’ to be found on 1987’s ‘Locust Abortion Technician’ (the second can also be found on The Sentinel). This track is like Rock music regressing back to its primordial origins, or its Foetal stage. Paul Leary sprays his Evil-Hendrix geetar all over it while Gibby’s vocals ooze like sludge. Classic. This album is 30 years old….

Laurence Johns

Curator of Counter-Culture, Personal Development Consultant & Writer

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