on May 23, 2000
This terrific disc is comprised of two EPs ("Duck Stab" and "Buster & Glen"), and it represents one of the best albums from the group's 'classic' period (1972-80). The songs are fairly linear and the lyrics are even sung clearly, but don't take this to mean that they've become radio friendly. These catchy little numbers are 14 nightmarish excursions into the demented nursery of the Residents, and after you've weathered one sitting they'll continue to poke at your brain for days. This was their best selling release at the time, and helped push their mystique further into the attention of the American underground. Les Claypool has named this album as one of his favorites (Primus has covered "Sinister Exaggerator," "Constantinople" and "Hello Skinny") and much of the warped style on Ween's "The Pod" and "Pure Guava" albums can be traced back to this record. It also features some excellent guitar work by the late Snakefinger (aka Philip Charles Lithman). This CD is required listening for fans of fringe artists and unusual music, and it's easily an essential Residents title.
on June 18, 2003
The Residents are known for their arty experimentalism on avant-garde discs like Eskimo, Third Reich N' Roll, and Not Availible. However, Duck Stab/Buster And Glen revealed a new side to the ol' op-tops. Released in 1978, it was a combo of two EPs that showcased short, concise songs with understandible lyrics-then put through the Resdiential wringer. The result is what can be described as Top 40 for space aliens. Opener "Constantinople" is one of the three undisputed classics on this album, graced with constantly appearing on setlists and covers by Primus. The track is an eerie ditty bringing to mind creepy electronica. The second classic, "Sinister Exaggerator", is a slow and surreal nightmare with lyrics about god-knows-what. The other classic, "Hello Skinny", is a cool tune consisting of bass, clarinet, and echoed vocals.
However, many of the "non-classics" are just as good, some even better. "Blue Rosebuds" is a fantastic love song that shifts gears from surreal to psychotic; "The Booker Tease" is a dirty instrumental with cop-show guitar courtesy of Snakefinger; "The Laughing Song" is a eerie se shanty sung by a redneck; "Bach Is Dead" has a melody that sounds like someone scratching on a balloon and has a famous bridge of three quarter-notes; "Elvis And Is His Boss" is a hilarious splice of the Batman theme and heavy techno, and it even has a I-IV-V progression (!); "Lizard Lady" is an angry little piece of synth goodness; "Semolina" is a harmony-driven ballad; "Birthday Boy" is a demented child's song; "Weight-Lifting Lulu" sounds like a surf tune on tranquilizers; "Krafty Cheese" sounds like nothing lees than an invasion by robot gardeners (you'll see); and "The Electrocutioner" is a 2-parter: a manic blast of squeals, and a slow drift, both sung by some creepy lady.
All in all, Duck Stab/Buster And Glen may not be The Residents' best album, most it's their most accessible while being a fan favorite at the same time. Groovy!
on July 11, 2008
I purchased this album when it was first released on vinyl just on the merits of the opening track "Constantinople." It is a skewed, energetic setting for trivial, almost non-existent lyrics. It's funny, clever, and bizarre.
This is a wonderful 'pressing' packaged very handsomely in a CD-sized, glossy hardcover book. I first discovered that Residents albums were being packaged this way when I recently picked up the two double-album discs comprising the so-called 'Mole Trilogy.' I decided to take a chance on this disc (as well as The Commercial Album) and was very happily surprised to see that these, too, had been released in these wonderful packages, with booklets containing artwork and lyrics. My only complaint with the packaging is that the shrink wrap was pulling the binding over at a bad angle, but neither the booklet nor the disc seem to have been permanently harmed.
For my money, the two albums in The Residents' "American Composer" series are the ones I listen to most often, but this single-CD compilation of two old classic LPs is still worth having, if not for "Constantinople," then for the eerie "Hello Skinny."
on May 4, 2013
The album itself deserves ten stars out of five, every song is unrelentingly creative, nutty, inventive, and brilliant. But if you're looking at this page you probably already know that. Here's what you probably don't know:
With the digital copy from Amazon, the first three seconds of every song is stuck onto the end of the one that came before it. Every song starts three seconds into it. That means if you aren't listening to the album straight through and want to hear a song from the beginning, you have to click the preceding track and then click three seconds before the end. Bizarre. Fixable if you know how to use an audio editing program, but extremely irritating for something I shelled out my hard-earned cash for. I don't know if it's something Amazon screwed up, or if it's how it was mastered and every digital copy has the same problem, but my recommendation is DO NOT BUY FROM AMAZON.
on May 19, 2013
The full title of this album is technically "Duck Stab/Buster & Glen". Yes, I know that both the Amazon page and the spine of the CD itself only say Duck Stab, but this is in fact both of the titular EPs on one disc. Think of it as getting two EPs for the price of one CD.
Even though the two were originally unrelated to each other, they still fit very well in tone and style due to being from the same general period in The Residents' history. This album contains a mix of bizarre, disturbing nursery rhymes and deconstructions of pop music.
The first track, "Constantinople", features the inimitable Snakefinger on guitar and vocals. "The Booker Tease" is either a parody or a deconstruction of the instrumental track "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s, a song which is itself beloved in small circles. The other songs which make up Duck Stab (the first seven) are more or less tonally consistent with one another, so it would take an astute listener to notice the transition to Buster & Glen.
"Weight-Lifting Lulu" appears to be a kind of parody of The Ventures, with its almost inaudible bass (or maybe baritone) guitar and a synthesizer that sounds like it's being played through an abandoned steam tunnel. "Krafty Cheese" is The Residents' own take on the music of Kraftwerk, and only a die-hard electronic music fan would be able to spot the difference. Finally, the closing track "The Electrocutioner" starts off with the usual Residential manic energy, and then slows down to a very slow finish.
It's really a testament to the group's talents as composers and writers that certain songs on this album, particularly "Weight-Lifting Lulu" and "The Electrocutioner" affected me on an emotional level. But the album is consistent throughout in that it experiments with time signatures, distortion, and dissonance, making it a kind of exotic feast for the ears - albeit not one that every diner will find to their taste.
on February 15, 2000
Amazon sadly does not include this seminal band in their list of "Essentials" artists, but if they did, Duck Stab would top the list. It was made right at the apex of their creativity, so their earlier weirdness has been refined and the later blandness hasn't kicked in yet. It's also their least "conceptual" album, being simply a collection of a dozen or so three-minute songs. It's plenty "weird", as all Res albums are, but it never crosses the line into outright ugliness, as their "Third Reich" album does. The lack of a concept also helped keep them from falling into self-indulgence as happened a few times on other albums.
Anyway, if you don't like this one, you probably just won't like the Residents ever. And if you can't get yourself to like the Residents, well, then God help ya.
on December 7, 2000
Question: Do the Residents hate Rock N' Roll? Answer: Yes, and these are the Rock N' Roll songs they made to prove it.
For the most part, the Residents perform primitive operas and melted down cover tunes. "Duck Stab / Buster & Glen" however combined 2 EP's of original Residents Rock N' Roll - or at least something resembling rock music.
If you listen to this CD, it's unlikely that you will ever get these 'tunes' out of your brain. Oh, and don't expect the Residents to play nice once they've taken up residence in your head. The Residents mean to hurt you with this one.
on July 10, 2001
In the classified ads section of Rolling Stone when I was in high school this group called the Residents kept begging me to buy one of their albums. Of course, I always wanted to (being a kid, you always want to please people), but never did (being a kid, I had no money to indulge on the Residents).
Back in 1978, I lived, for a brief period of time, in Denver, Colorado. As part of my passage of time, I would hang around in Wax Trax and look for something new to listen to, mostly punk rock and new wave albums. On the shelfs were some Residents stuff, mainly "Meet the Residents, Fingerprince, and two EP's named "Duck Stab" and Buster and Glenn".
I avoided the EP's, not wanting to pay the money, but did pick up the other two. While I thought the Residents were, well, wierd, I didn't know then that I would become the fan I am today (at 45, being a Residents fan - and a grandfather - seems a bit out of synch with reality).
Soon, Duck Stab and Buster and Glen were put together as one, and I bought it.
I was astonished. These weren't the noodlings of some art group - this was pop music! Constantinople drove me nuts with its singer (whose singing to date I can compare to scraping my fingernails onto a chalk board) The Laughing Song cracked me up, because it is like listening to an inside joke (which it probably is) Elvis and His Boss predates cube-e, and is probably the best parody of Elvis ever done by the one eyed wonders. Weight-Lifting Lulu is dark, and beautiful Hello Skinny is my favorite song in the entire album, and The Electrocutioner hooked me to the Residents forever.
If you're looking for some songs written and performed by the Residents this is the album to find them in, every song is original, no two are the same, and they're all good (if strangely arranged and played). This is an essential Residents album.
on February 18, 2014
And a great introduction to the Residents as well. I'm relatively new to them and I would recommend this album as a starting point. And it's not out of print (not yet, at least) so why don't you get it and discover the art of Residents!
on March 2, 2012
Never, ever think The Residents will do a safe, chart-friendly album. Their path is to create the pop mutant. Their sole purpose is to go beyond simple chords and safe (but stale) pop formulae, and then become strangely accessible.
This album, a combination of two EPs, is their masterpiece. Short, bizarre and wickedly catchy, 'Duck Stab' is that weird side of You Tube long before there was one.