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WBEZ Jim DeRogatis’ - My 40 favorite albums of 2011 #1 Le Butcherettes



1. Le Butcherettes, Sin Sin Sin (Rodriguez Lopez Productions)

Smart, fierce, ferociously funny, and tremendously sexy, Mexico’s Teri Gender Bender, a.k.a. Teri Suarez, celebrates love, lust, and social justice while raging against gender inequality and every other tool that the powers that be would use to keep us down, in the process providing absolutely the most necessary, vital, and timely sounds of 2011.

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Album review: Le Butcherettes, “Sin Sin Sin”

The most amazing act I caught at SXSW 2011—and one of the best I’ve seen by chance in a good long time, period—it was with some trepidation that I first spun Le Butcherettes’ first full album, recently released on the label started by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (Mars Volta, At the Drive-In) and featuring his production and bass playing, lest the recording fail to live up to the take-no-prisoners live rock assault. But fear not: “Sin Sin Sin” is just as overwhelmingly powerful as the band’s stage show, and if you can’t revel in the spectacle of bandleader Teri Gender Bender, a.k.a. Teri Suarez, running rampant throughout the club on record, well, you do have the added bonus of being able to savor every subtle nuance she puts into spitting out her grrrl-power lyrics.

“All he needs is a piece of you and me/Honey,” Gender Bender growls in the ferocious opener, “Tonight,” riding a giddy New Wave keyboard groove punctuated by a rolling drum beat. “It’s sin tonight, honey/In my mouth/In my thigh/In my backside/In the middle of my sleep/Tonight!” And the charm of her delivery, in this song and throughout the album, is that it’s impossible to tell if she’s joyful about this or so angry that she’s ready to kill.

That ambiguity is what makes the group absolutely irresistible, recalling Polly Jean Harvey at her strongest and Courtney Love before she lost the plot, but ratcheted up a notch and with the added venom that comes from watching American excess and hubris from Mexico City and Guadalajara, where the band was based before recently relocating to Los Angeles. (Here is an excellent profile by Todd Martens of the Los Angeles Times, who first turned me on to the band.)

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SXSW 2011: ¡Viva la Revolución! ¡Viva Le Butcherettes!

by Jim DeRogatisMar. 18, 2011

 
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…the best band I saw on Thursday night, which also was one of the best bands I’ve seen anywhere in a very long time. Teri Gender Bender, a.k.a. Teresa Suaréz, formed Le Butcherettes as an all-girl garage-punk band in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2008 and released one EP the following year. Now completed by drummer Gabe Serbian and bassist Jonathan Hischke, the group is preparing to release its first full album, “Sin Sin Sin,” in May on the label started by Omar Rodríguez-López of the Mars Volta, who also produced the disc. 

Gender Bender hardly needs that connection, though, as she has more than enough star power of her own. Dressing in ’50s housewife attire as desecrated by a riot grrl, she alternately hammers away on keyboard and guitar while wailing with a throaty, soulful roar that recalls Polly Jean Harvey at her most powerful. She spent as much time running through the crowd or surfing atop its upstretched arms as she spent onstage at the Flamingo Cantina amid the bluesy, chaotic swirl of the band’s arty punk sounds, and while her lyrics rarely directly addressed the topics, it was impossible to mistake her fury at the state of relations between Mexico and America, or between men and women anywhere. 

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