LIVE: Le Butcherettes (w/ Big Joanie) – Moth Club, Hackney 02.03.19

Fueled by almighty vocals, hefty guitar riffs and commanding percussion; Le Butcherettes‘ powerful sound ricocheted around the glittered walls of Moth Club last week. Celebrating the release of their fourth album bi/MENTAL, the group delivered a passionate mix of old and new material to their London fans.

Opening the night were DIY garage punks Big Joanie, who were in high spirits having just returned from playing SXSW. The trio’s understated and relatable sounds went down well with the crowd, with ‘Fall Asleep’, ‘Used To Be Friends’ and ‘Down Down’ proving to be the strongest songs in their set.

Cited as their most personal album to date, bi/MENTAL is an ode to Le Butcherettes’ frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s Mother, and the tracks were as visceral and vulnerable performed live as they are on the record. Teri’s trademark falsetto voice was breath-taking. She flitted between screams, cries and authoritative vocals which matched her erratic but focused performance style. Her band mates – Alejandra Robles Luna (drums), Rikardo Rodríguez-López (guitars) and Marfred Rodríguez-López (bass) – performed with equal amounts of energy; switching between off-kilter sounds and infectious, rolling rhythms with enviable precision.

Teri’s howls and cries cut through the air when she broke the fourth wall and entered the centre of the crowd mid-set and laid on her back. She commanded attention wherever she stood, and spoke fluent Spanish between songs to keep listeners on their toes. As for stand out tracks, it’s difficult to pick just one – but ‘give/UP’ and ‘struggle/STRUGGLE’ stood out among the set list. Both felt like seething, buzzing explorations of grief despite their opposing tempos.

Inspired by the “the death of a living mother”, the duality of life, and the inevitable strife caused by the fluctuation of mental health; Le Butcherettes bi/MENTAL is a cathartic burst of emotive rock designed to clear the cobwebs between your ears – and the band’s live set does exactly that.

Catch Le Butcherettes on their upcoming UK live dates:
Tues 9th July – Boston Music Rooms, London
Weds 10th – Green Door Store, Brighton
Thurs 11th – 2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Le Butcherettes – ‘bi/MENTAL’

A vivid exploration of maternal relationships, enduring grief, and coping with the many faceted mental health issues encountered along the way; Le Butcherettes‘ new album bi/MENTAL is a potent infusion of almighty vocals, hefty guitar riffs, and commanding percussion. Released via Rise Records, the band’s fourth album was produced by Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison (No Doubt, Violent Femmes, KD Lang) and recorded at his home studio in Northern California.

Cited as their most personal album to date, bi/MENTAL is an ode to frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s mother. She states that with the aid of producer Jerry, she was able to be “vulnerable and in-your-face at the same time” and that freedom permeates bi/MENTAL. Opener ‘spider/WAVES’ is six minutes of off-kilter unhinged sound, dominated by Teri’s trademark falsetto vocals and accompanied by spoken word from Dead Kennedys’ front man, Jello Biafra. It leads in to the knockout ‘give/UP’ lamenting the struggles surrounding grief. The opening line paints a morbid picture – “I’ve been putting off for days / a visitation to your grave” – but Teri’s passionate delivery and the infectious, rolling rhythms make this track a real blood-pumping tune that’s hard to sit still to.

‘strong/ENOUGH’ is an anthem of defiance and acceptance – “I’m not the kind of girl you thought I was” – whilst ‘father/ELOHIM’ explores a narrative of reckless behaviour and freedom. ‘little/MOUSE’ follows, before the scratchy nostalgic opening of ‘in/THE END’ breaks through, developing in to a retrospective ballad about faithlessness. A seething, buzzing bass line dominates ‘nothing/BUT TROUBLE’, whilst the sultry vocals of Chilean vocalist Mon Laferte take centre stage on ‘la/SANDÍA’.

Gritty guitar and psych-tinged keys meet on ‘struggle/STRUGGLE’ where pain and grief culminate in a speaking-in-tongues outro from Teri. ‘dressed/IN A MATTER OF SPEECH’ follows, before the unsettling screams and screeches of ‘mothers/HOLDS’ conquer the next three minutes of the record. Featuring the vocals of Alice Bag, ‘mothers/HOLDS’ is an example of the dark magic that’s conjured when two assertive, defiant women come together to create art.

The heady, mesmeric sounds on the penultimate ‘sand/MAN’ are followed by closing track ‘/BREATH’. It has a gentle opening, with slow guitar and a child-like voice sample interrupting intermittently like an old memory, but that’s swiftly discarded around the two minute mark. The track kicks back in in true raucous Le Butcherettes fashion, closing the record on a willful, assertive note.

Inspired by the “the death of a living mother”, the duality of life, and the inevitable strife caused by the fluctuation of mental health; Le Butcherettes bi/MENTAL is a cathartic burst of emotional rock music designed to clear the cobwebs between your ears.

Listen to bi/MENTAL on Spotify here.
Follow Le Butcherettes on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: February 2019

It’s a brand new month and that means we’ve got a brand new playlist of new music to share with you. Take some time to scroll through our words and hit play on the Spotify link at the bottom of the page…

Queen Zee – ‘Loner’
GIHEs faves Queen Zee released their debut self-titled album last week, and this single was lifted from the record just before it dropped. It’s an in-your-face anthem that takes the piss out of being a solitary, socially inept loser. Zee’s vocals dominate this track which is filled with swirling guitar noise and non-stop percussion. Mari & I will be watching Queen Zee live at The Lexington on Valetine’s Day this year, and we can’t wait to grab a copy of this glorious record, and we’d encourage you to do the same! (Kate Crudgington)

Scrounge – ‘Crimson’
Total faves Scrounge have just released their ferocious new single ‘Crimson’. Ever since they completely blew us away with their epic energy-fuelled set at our gig at The Windmill last summer, we’ve been struggling to put into words just how impressive we find their refreshingly original sound. Propelled by Luke’s intense pummelling beats and Lucy’s trademark gritty snarl, ‘Crimson’ creates a frenzied swirl of sound that’ll wrap itself around you with a racing sense of urgency. With shades of the soaring majesty of Sonic Youth, whilst retaining the duo’s utterly unique and colossal genre-blending sound, I just can’t get enough of ‘Crimson’s wonderfully discordant whirring cacophony. (Mari Lane)

Le Butcherettes – ‘Give Up’
Taken from their new album bi/MENTAL released last week, this knockout single from Le Butcherettes laments the many struggles surrounding grief. Front woman Teri’s passionate vocal delivery and the infectious rolling rhythms on this track make it a real blood-pumping affair you can’t sit still to. (KC)

Sacred Paws – ‘Brush Your Hair’
Having won the 2017 Scottish Album Of The Year Award for their debut Strike A Match, Glasgow-based duo Sacred Paws have become firm favourites over the last couple of years. Now, with their vibrant, jangly melodies flowing seamlessly alongside lush harmonies and thrilling, racing beats, new single ‘Brush Your Hair’ has secured their place in our hearts once again. And, with the band’s trademark utterly infectious uptempo energy and colourful charisma, ‘Brush Your Hair’ is set to brighten your February on first listen. (ML)

Arlo Parks – ‘Super Sad Generation’
Arlo Parks has shared her beautiful follow up to single ‘Cola’ with the aptly named ‘Super Sad Generation’. It’s a heartfelt tune that speaks about going through the motions, trying to make emotional sense of what’s in front of you. (KC)

Mags On Earth – ‘Tulip Stone’
Influenced by her constantly changing surroundings and by the pressures associated with youth and living in the moment; Mags On Earth has shared her beautifully dreamy single ‘Tulip Stone’. The song was recorded with producer Jose Manuel Cubides in London, and deals with “wondering what else life could be looking like right now, and the pressure of spending your youth in a certain way and how time keeps passing”. (KC)

Amahla – ‘Dorothy’s Verses’
Exploring what truth is through the story of her grandmother, Amahla’s ‘Dorothy’s Verses’ flows with rich, impassioned vocals alongside luscious sweeping hooks, creating a truly dreamy – and deeply stirring – offering. Having played legendary venues such as The Jazz Cafe and The Roundhouse, and garnered support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 Extra and 6Music’s Tom Robinson, I really can’t wait to hear more from this innovative artist. (ML)

NAVA – ‘Ritual’
Milan-via-Iran based project NAVA’s new single is a blend of Persian-dance inspired beats, industrial elements and hypnotic vocals. I like this band’s obscure image and sound, so I’ll be keeping tabs on them for the rest of 2019. (KC)

Miss Jacqui – ‘These Walls’
I was only recently introduced to songwriter and poet Miss Jacqui when Amahla featured this track on her guest playlist for us; and it was love at first listen. With poignant, heartfelt lyrical storytelling set to glitchy beats and a twinkling soundscape, ‘These Walls’ is an essential listen. Having performed at the 2012 Paralympics ceremony, she’s only officially started releasing tracks last year, and I’m so glad she has. An exceptional voice that we need in our ears now more than ever. (ML)

Heather Woods Broderick – ‘Where I Lay
‘Where I Lay’ is the utterly cinematic new single from Oregon’s Heather Woods Broderick. With its sparkling beauty and the subtle soaring power of Woods Broderick’s vocals, it’s impossible not to become utterly captivated. Of the track, she explains explains: “’Where I Lay’ is really a poem about the impermanence of all things. So many of our questions will remain unanswered but if we slow down and appreciate things as they are it can provide a simplicity and an ease that inspires wonder amidst the chaos.” ‘Where I Lay’ is taken from Heather Woods Broderick’s new album Invitation, out on 19th April via Western Vinyl. (ML)

Hubert’s Friend – ‘Shipping Forecast’
Filled with gritty, blues-driven riffs, meandering desert-rock groove and the soaring soulful vocals of front woman Elly Lock, I just can’t get enough of this new single from London’s Hubert’s Friend. With regular appearances on the London gig scene, Hubert’s friend have now got through to the  quarter finals of Isle of Wight Festival Emerging Talent competition, so it definitely seems they’re headed for big things this year. (ML)