THE FLYING LIZARDS

Flying Lizards

… I’ve always toyed with the idea that the Flying Lizards represented rock and roll from some sort of alternative universe.

David Cunningham, Zigzag magazine, 1984

Formed: England, 1976

Featured album: The Flying Lizards (1980)

THEY MIGHT BE remembered as little more than one-hit-wonders for their robotic cover of Barrett Strong’s “Money (That’s What I Want)”. But there’s more to The Flying Lizards than a novelty single, albeit a brilliant one. Straddling the creative ferment of post-punk and the commercial appeal of new wave, The Flying Lizards resist easy categorisation, joining the likes of The Residents and Devo as avant-garde pop deconstructionists of a most peculiar nature.

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BUTTHOLE SURFERS

Butthole Surfers

We… come from the same place of just hating what we heard, and wanting to make something that was even worse that people would hate even more and somehow get paid for it. That’s what we were trying to do; make the worst records possible.

Paul Leary, Our Band Could Be Your Life, 2001

Formed: 1981, Texas, USA

Featured album: Locust Abortion Technician (1987)

IF IT’S TRUE what French symbolist Arthur Rimbaud said about a systematic derangement of the senses being the source of true creative inspiration, then the Butthole Surfers might just be America’s greatest artistic visionaries. There are few audio-visual experiences as mind-shatteringly disorientating – to band and audience alike – as a Butthole Surfers show.

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CROMAGNON

Cromagnon

I think it was Brian [Elliot] who said ‘You know, Elvis [was] shaking his hips with his acoustic guitar and people were freaking out. Ten year’s [sic] later there’s Hendrix spraying his guitar with lighter fluid and setting it on fire – what the hell is gonna happen in thirty years?

Salvador Salgado, Orgasm liner notes, 2009

Formed: 1969, Connecticut/New York, USA

Featured album: Orgasm/Cave Rock (1969)

CROMAGNON’S MUSIC MIGHT be as primitive as the band’s name suggests: an elemental stew of grunts, screams and people hitting things, with about as much structure as an amoeba. But these hedonistic barbarians were among the first to chart rock’s outer limits, mapping terrain that is still being explored to this day.

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MR. BUNGLE

Mr Bungle

The main thing we see when we look into an audience is people laughing at us. It’s perfect…. They just have this look on their faces like they’re watching a cartoon or something.

Trevor Dunn, Sounds interview, 1991

Formed: 1985, California, USA

Featured album: Disco Volante (1995)

LIKE MANY PEOPLE of my age who grew up with Faith No More’s adventurous alt-metal in the nineties, I eventually discovered their singer Mike Patton’s ‘other’ band and promptly had my quaint ideas about music exploded forever. Mr. Bungle gave new meaning to words like ‘eclectic,’ ‘alternative’ and ‘extreme,’ irrevocably corrupting my mind and opening my unsuspecting ears to a new dimension of musical possibilities.

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