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Aggressive psyche punk from Texas!
on 4 July 2011
The best description I can give of this band is they are kind of like a cross between the Butthole Surfers and the Pixies....Though, unlike those two bands, they have no pop leanings (and before any purists comment, I'm aware the Surfers' music was originally pretty transgressive, their songs always had hooks of some kind, so I'm fine calling them a pop band, alright?) Also unlike these two bands, Scratch Acid use their surreal and violent noise songs to paint vivid and ugly paintings in the listeners heads.
The band as a whole can move from a huge amount of song stylings. Take the first 8 songs here, which originally comprised their debut EP, which goes from:
- HUGE sounding noise rocker CANNIBAL (where howler David Yow sounds like David Bryne on a violently bad acid trip against giant a shifting rhythm section), to...
- Crampsesque rockabilly song if written by a necrophiliac, to...
- Hardcore punk explosion which might work better as a compilation track, but here is apt to take the listener aback.
- Next the trippy, almost moving OWNER'S LAMENT, providing a lovely solace song for demented freaks out there (if you can, listen to the way this song moves from one piece to another, and back again, like a rollercoaster soaring to Heaven and down to Hell)
- "She Said" follows, a song that has one mood on it's mind - alarm. From the repetitive bass to the megaphoned-in vocals...offering only a distant, echoed respite for the lone "chorus".
- "Mess" sounds like the band are playing two doors down and...well, it sounds like Scratch Acid.
- "El Espectro" stops and starts, with Yow screaming for all he's worth, like a bizarre carnival act.
- Finally, "Lay Screaming", a beautiful droning reverb nightmare with a chorus too obscene to be repeated it. Strangely, one of the catchiest songs on the record, with a Paul Learyesque surftone solo that both hypnotises and disturbs.
In additon to this, you get two more records, their only full length and their ultimate EP. While the first is my favourite (especially since the full album sounds like it was recorded in someone's toilet), the disc is an excellent purchase for anyone who likes the psyche punk of the eighties, but feels like the Butthole Surfers and the awful Gaye Bykers on Acid are too cartoonish (not that this record is a patch on Locust Abortion Technician or Hairway to Steven).