Locust Abortion Technician

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Locust Abortion Technician
Studio album by Butthole Surfers
Released March 1987 (US)
1987 (Europe), (Australia)
Genre Avant-garde, hardcore punk, noise rock, neo-psychedelia, alternative metal[1]
Length 32:34
Label United States Touch and Go (original release)
Latino Buggerveil (1999 reissue)
United Kingdom Blast First
Netherlands Torso
Australia Au Go Go
Producer Butthole Surfers
Butthole Surfers chronology
Blind Eye Sees All
Locust Abortion Technician
Hairway to Steven
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]
Sputnik Music 4/5 stars[4]

Locust Abortion Technician is the third full-length studio album by American experimental rock band Butthole Surfers, released in March 1987. All songs were written and produced by Butthole Surfers, except for "Kuntz", which was written by an uncredited Thai artist. The album was originally released as vinyl on Touch and Go, and was remastered to CD on Latino Buggerveil in 1999.

Locust Abortion Technician's front cover illustration of two clowns playing with a dog was painted by Arthur Sarnoff, entitled "Fido and the Clowns".

Kurt Cobain listed it in his top fifty albums of all time.[5][6] It is also featured in Robert Dimsey's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


Arguably Butthole Surfers' heaviest album, and without a doubt their darkest and most disturbing, Locust Abortion Technician is also considered by many critics and fans to be one of the band's best, harnessing aspects of punk, heavy metal, and psychedelia into a then-unique sound that could be considered noise rock. "Sweat Loaf" utilizes a warped riff similar to the verse riff from the Black Sabbath song "Sweet Leaf." Not all the tracks are guitar-oriented, though; the song "Kuntz" was created by processing an original Eastern recording by a Thai artist through Gibby Haynes' "Gibbytronix" system.[7]

This album marked the debut of bass player Jeff Pinkus, as well as the return of co-drummer Teresa Nervosa, who had left the band in December 1985.[8] It was also the first Surfers full-length album to feature lead singer Gibby Haynes' Gibbytronix vocal effects, which features on the songs "Sweat Loaf" and "Human Cannonball" (though Gibbytronix were employed on Comb on the Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis EP a year earlier).

Many Locust Abortion Technician songs are recurring features of Butthole Surfers' live concerts, including "Sweat Loaf", "Graveyard", "Pittsburgh to Lebanon", "U.S.S.A.", "Kuntz", and "22 Going on 23".


Locust Abortion Technician was the first Butthole Surfers album primarily recorded at the band's home studio, which was originally assembled in a rental house they were sharing near Austin, Texas in 1986.[9] A private studio did not mean an end to the sub-standard equipment that had plagued their previous recording sessions, though. In addition to having just one microphone, they also used an outdated 8-track tape recorder instead of the 16-track gear used on Rembrandt Pussyhorse. However, guitarist Paul Leary believes that the inferior equipment forced the band to be more creative than they might otherwise have been.[7]

Additionally, the new studio freed the band from having to worry about recording costs, allowing them to experiment even more than on previous releases. Jeff Pinkus has also said that the home studio gave them the luxury of taking extended breaks for drug use.[8]

Many of the album's tracks also underwent extensive in-studio development. Though this had largely become a Butthole Surfers tradition, Locust Abortion Technician was one of their last recordings done in such a manner, with the band going into the studio with more fully formed songs on subsequent releases. Pinkus has expressed the opinion that the earlier, more chaotic recording sessions resulted in much of the spontaneous creativity that had propelled the group's early albums.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and produced by Butthole Surfers, except where noted.


  • The opening of the first track, "Sweat Loaf", was sampled by Orbital on their track "Satan."
  • "Sweat Loaf" was sampled by Kid Rock on his track "Pancake Breakfast" from the album The Polyfuze Method.
  • The song "Hay" is actually a re-done, reversed version of "22 Going on 23." The last part of "22 Going on 23"; what seems like mooing, is actually the main lyrics of "Hay", only reversed and stretched. Also, in the final part of "Hay", there is something that seems to be a high-pitched voice speaking gibberish. This is the speaking at the beginning of "22 Going on 23", including the repeated words.
  • The song "22 Going on 23" brought the band to wider UK attention when it was voted number 44 in John Peel's 1987 Festive Fifty
  • The song "Sweat Loaf" is referenced in Red Hot Chili Peppers' song "Deep Kick" from their album One Hot Minute.
  • The song "Kuntz" is a heavily distorted version of the song "Klua Duang," or "The Fear," a song by Thai artists Phloen Phromdaen and Kong Katkamngae.
  • The song "The O-Men" is a tribute to the band The U-Men.



Chart (1987) Peak
UK Indie Chart[10] 3


  1. ^ Christe, Ian (2003). Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal. HarperCollins. Chapter 13 Transforming the 1990s: The Black Album & Beyond.
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "allmusic ((( Locust Abortion Technician > Review )))". Allmusic. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Butthole Surfers". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 123, cited March 17, 2010
  4. ^ Jackson, Chris. "Sputnikmusic ((( Locust Abortion Technician > Review )))". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Top 50 by Nirvana [MIXTAPE]". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Cross, Gaar, Gendron, Martens, Yarm (2013). Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-7603-4521-4. 
  7. ^ a b c Ken Lieck, "Reissuing the Butthole Surfers," The Austin Chronicle Newspaper Vol. 18 Issue 52
  8. ^ a b Michael Azerrad, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 (New York, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2001) 303
  9. ^ Michael Azerrad, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 (New York, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2001) 303-306
  10. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]