Fun With Dark Things
Halfway through Le Butcherettes’ seering latest album, Cry Is For The Flies, there is a point where the music takes a break and allows Henry Rollins to engage in a dialogue with the concept of “guilt.” At first blush it seems as if his aggressively punctuated quasi-homage to Edgar Allan Poe is out of place on a record that conjures up a couple damaged kids in a dirty garage. Sure, there is plenty of regret, shame and weakness espoused on the record, but that Rollins intermission is a bit jarring. However, it all makes sense.
The Mexico-based band’s blistering ooze of garage rock is in itself a guilty pleasure, providing an intermission from all that is happening in the world. Who cares about the Islamic State or corrupt financial regulators when a person can rock out to the crunchy, dark punk that bleeds through each groove of Cry Is For The Flies? When frontwoman and multi-instrumentalist Teri Gender Bender and drummer Lia Braswell unleash their crafty fury (with the help of some special guests), anything outside the record just ceases to be at the forefront of one’s attention.
Le Butcherettes remind us that sometimes it’s just fine to be a little dark, but have some fun while doing it. Go ahead, cover yourselves in dyed-red corn syrup and run around screaming as if you’re bleeding out your soul. You can keep your feet in the macabre, but you don’t have to suffocate your entire body in a damp and moldy corner of a poorly lit basement in a busted up house on Goth Street.
“Demon Stuck In Your Eye” is a rawkus number in which Teri wails like a barely restrained banshee. The fuzzy riffs glide along in fits and starts to create an effect of impatience before the chorus kicks in, when the catchy vocal hook sets in.
Standout track “Your Weakness Gives Me Life” features pretty guitar leads over fuzzy guitar accompaniment as Braswell completes the duo’s blistering assault on the senses, effectively serving the vampyric theme of the song in brilliant fashion. Don’t cower in front of her, folks, or she will eat you alive.
Shirley Manson of Garbage joins the beautiful and spacey “Shame, You’re All I’ve Got,” which sounds a bit like a number Lana Del Rey carelessly cast off. It’s slow drum rolls support a minimal piano and clean guitar interplay. If the song is slightly debased in that sweet Del Rey way, Manson adds a sludge to it.
Cry Is For The Flies is antidote to the idea of wallowing in one’s suffering. Embrace the anger, the outrage and the levity inherent therein and seize the day. It’s funny that a record that acknowledges the parasitic nature of humanity and its relationships would offer such a fun escape from the everyday reality of those very same things.