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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Butterfingers - Butterfingers (1970 us, rough fuzzy psych rock, Shadoks release)

Another mystery group with a hideously rare private press to their credit. Butterfingers are thought to have come from Texas, as their album is rarely sighted far from the Houston area. Musically, this band will have wide appeal amongst readers of this book - wild psychedelic guitar on every cut, that druggy underground vibe that was so prevalent in the 'States during this era but seldom was captured on vinyl (and was never allowed on radio). The lead vocalist has an obnoxious "soulish" vocal technique that irritates, however and overall the band come across as one-dimensional.

Several collectors are quite certain that Butterfingers were a black group, but they sound simply hillbilly to me. Adding Texas to the equation makes the latter interpretation more likely, although still speculative.
Despite what may appear as a lukewarm review, many collectors rate this album highly, and the reissue is certainly recommended.
from Fuzz, Acid and Flowers

1. Key - 2:24
2. Has the Buggerman Got You - 2:19
3. Look out Now - 2:09
4. 5 o' Clock Trip - 2:07
5. In the Shade of Night - 2:22
6. High Walkin' - 2:42
7. I Feel Like An Elephant - 2:36
8. Were Ya Gonna Hide - 4:56
9. Why Get High - 3:56
10.Bootleg - 5:39

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adamus67 said...

One of those true mystery groups (knowledgeable collectors think they may have been from southern Texas, but can't even agree whether these guys were white or black - our guess is white), Butterfingers appeared on the collectors' scene via a couple extremely rare 1970 test pressings. Issued in a generic white sleeve by the Pot label (catalog number SLP-457), originals will cost you an arm and a leg, making the 1998 Six Little Indians reissue the way to go.

So what's "Butterfingers" sound like? Cartoonish hard rock comes to mind... contained a powerful portion Hendrix, psychedelic rock with more than a hint of the achievements of Black Merda. Heavy guitar playing full distortions, reverbs, and other combinations of sound.

Whoever he was, the lead singer had a decent voice, though he also exhibited an irritating habit of trying to sound overly soulful and continually injected needless 'whoops', 'screeches'' and other sound effects into the mix. We've seen at least one review that says he sounds like a female Janis Joplin. To us a more apt comparison is a cross between Randy Bachman and Tony Joe White. Musically the set bounces around between conventional hard rock ("Has the Buggerman Got You" and "5 O'clock Trip"), more commercial pop sounds ("Key" and the oddball MOR ballad "In the Shade of the Night") and some pseudo-blue eyed soul moves ("Look Out Now"). There's quite a bit of fuzz guitar throughout (the instrumental "High Walkin'" is actually quite nice) and the set (particularly the second side which sports three longer titles), boasts a certain stoned-vibe that will probably appeal to some folks. "I Feel Like An Elephant" is worth hearing for the dumb lyrics, while the closing number "Bootleg" boasts some super cheesy studio production effects. Nothing great, but we've heard far worse.

Thanks Marios & Larry.

StonerCaravan076 said...

I think it sounds killer!