Perhaps the most scatological of all music bands, Butt Trumpet, just relieved itself of its debut album, Primitive Enema. It is a collection of obnoxious punk for the dark side of your musical taste. Since its rise to popularity on the West Coast, the Los Angeles-based Butt Trumpet has recently brought their unique sound east on tour. Their appearance at Boston club Axis this Saturday promises to be a raunchier and more lively version of their latest twisted material.
Butt Trumpet finds new ways to use nearly every known obscenity in the service of satire. While the band doesn't have much to offer as far as vocal talent, Butt Trumpet manages clever lyrics and a wide range of offensive guitar riffs, making Primitive Enema interesting to listen to, if not enjoyable. The first released single, "I'm Ugly and I Don't Know Why," has the spirit of a campfire song and the bite of a cold toilet seat. Band member Sharon Needles sings the story of a homely woman's child-hood experiences. After screaming her sad tale, the song concludes with a very deep statement, as she is told, "You're ugly because you're ugly." The slow story-telling background music on this tune contrast with the hard guitar from other songs, demonstrates the band's instrumental skill. This is not a band that plays the same tune over and over again, as each song on the album offers something entirely different and frequently puerile.
Butt Trumpet takes some getting used to. The parental advisory sticker on the cover has the words "lighten up" pasted underneath it. The spot where the CD rests in the case has a revealing photo of somebody's bare ass. Butt Trumpet's self-counsciousness is apparent in all aspects of the album.
Butt Trumpet will appeal to those who like to hear people screaming obscenities at the top of their lungs and have friends who deserve an "Ode to Dickhead."
One of Butt Trumpet's more endearing qualities is its ability to rank on popular culture from all perspectives. They successfully fulfill their attempt at vicious comedy with songs such as "I Left my Gun in San Francisco," which is about killing hippies, sung from the point of view of the killer. Thom Bone, one of several loud bass players, warns all Birkenstock-wearers, "I'm an easy going guy/but I'm even more mellow when hippies die."
Butt Trumpet has an obsession with bodily functions that rivals even the Harvard Lampoon. Most notably, the title track describes someone spending a very long time waiting to get hold of a "Primitive Enema." Another song details some poor soul's yeast problems.
Occaisionally, Butt Trumpet hits their mark. The song, "Yesterday," rather than lauding how great things were in the past, focuses on how horrible things are now--an appropriate sentiment for the nineties.
Perhaps Butt Trumpet's greatest accomplishment is that they actually put music to their ideas and are willing to stand in front of others and perform.
Each song has a good joke, but unfortunately many of them have only a few clever lyrics that are used ad nauseum. The song "Dead Dogs" has six words, and even fewer chords. The charm of some tunes, while ample at first, quickly wanes as the band beats a thin joke to death. The listener discovers that he can only hear the words "I'm killing all the fucking hippies" so many times. Frequently aware of this weakness, Butt Trumpet saves itself with brevity. Only two of the songs on the album are longer than three minutes--most are even shorter than that. Usually the song's sole joke is enough to pull it through for the length of the piece.
Butt Trumpet is a band with a sick sense of humor, poor singing ability, but almost wickedly funny songs. "Primitive Enema" deftly highlights these traits to produce an entertaining album.
Butt Trumpet is not for everyone. You don't have to be sexual paraphiliac or even a proctologist to enjoy it, although it might help. Butt Trumpet is definitely not the noise you want to have playing in the background during a telephone interview. Enjoy the music, but be forewarned--even Beavis and Butthead could have trouble listening to something this crude. Well, maybe not.