Le Butcherettes - Sin Sin Sin
Le Butcherettes are fronted by the leading contender for 2011’s dodgiest stage name award, Teri Gender Bender (a name that I’m sure doesn’t appear on her birth certificate) recalling the old school punks penchant for attention seeking name changes. It’s not the only old school punk element the Mexican four piece have absorbed. Their new album Sin Sin Sin is infused with the sweat from the walls of CBGBs in the late 70s, the snotty sneer of the Sex Pistols, the brash, fuck you attitude of early Blondie and the feminist tinged politics of riot grrrl. There is, however, more to these Butcherettes than mere punk rock revivalism. This is a band that go beyond the rama lama ding dong, one, two, three let’s go punk rush. While their sound may be based on punk for Le Butcherettes it’s a launch pad rather than a straight jacket.
The onomatopoeically titled ‘Bang!’ is the closest the band come to the filth and fury of their true punk heritage. Its one and a half minutes of anger and attitude with Teri belting out her fury like Kathleen Hanna on steroids. If this doesn’t stir you from your arm chair and get you digging out your banners then nothing will. But it’s not all short sharp punk throwbacks. Album opener ‘Tonight’, adds pounding synth and sexually aggressive lyrics to the mix while Teri gets in touch with her sensitive side on ‘The Actress That Ate Rousseau’.
On the rest of the album the band channel the spirits of all the best female artists and female fronted bands ever to pick up a microphone. The instant classic ‘I'm Getting Sick Of You’ could be the Yeah Yeah Yeahs getting in touch with their inner Patti Smith. ‘New York’ sounds like a fight to the death between PJ Harvey and The Kills. It sounds like the blues distorted through a riot grrrl lense. For the record I make The Kills the winner on points. If ‘Henry Don’t Got Love’ had been written by Courtney Love it’d be heralded by the world’s press as a return to the form of the early Hole albums. Penultimate track ‘Empty Dimes’ would feel comfortable in the company of Blondie’s early, pre-disco pop, albums and final track ‘Mr Tolstoi’ is a blast of Brechtian cabaret that the Dresden Dolls would be proud of.
Imagine a festival line up of Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, The Kills, Hole, Blondie, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bikini Kill, Blondie and the Dresden Dolls. With Sin Sin Sin Le Butcherettes give you a taste of how good that would be. It’s a feminist tinged, punk singed statement of intent that pays due respect to the band’s heroines without stumbling into pastiche.