March 18, 2011

Le Butcherettes: Riot Grrrl a la Mexicano!

We have focused a lot, in this blog, about established artists and bands going into Mexico, but what about those coming out? Mariachi and hot Latino crooners are a big part of the music scene, but they aren't the whole picture by any stretch of the imagination. For a start, there's punk.

Le Butcherettes

Le Butcherettes describe themselves as a garage tapatio punk band. Their sheer energy and angry, young female sound recalls the crescendo of the early '90s Riot Grrrl wave. That could be Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear or L7 reincarnate up there, thrashing about the festival stages in sheep blood and flour. Whatever it is, it's punk at its finest.

The band has quickly developed cult status, spreading out from its native Guadalajara, across the country and into the USA. Formed in 2007, an album, 'Kiss & Kill', followed a year later. They were the winners in both the Best New Artist and Best Punk Record categories of the 2009 Indie-O Music Awards. Indie-O is the foremost Mexican accolade for the Indie scene.

A blistering performance at Hellow Fest 2009, in Monterrey, and opening for The Dead Weather's Mexican dates secured the status of Le Butcherettes as an exciting group to watch. They were nominated for Best Live Act, in 2010, but were pipped to the post by Yokozuna.

Much of the spectacle comes from founding member and singer-guitarist, Teri Gender Bender (aka Teresa Suaréz). She is most often seen in stereotypical 1950s tame housewife attire; though the effect is somewhat marred by the blood-stains down the front. A recent review, in WBEZ91.5, by Jim DeRogatis, read:

(Teri Gender Bender) 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.
SXSW 2011: ¡Viva la Revolución! ¡Viva Le Butcherettes!

2010 was huge for Le Butcherettes. Their first single, 'Henry Don't Got Love', was released; their second album, 'Sin, Sin, Sin', was recorded; they supported New York based Indie legends, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, on tour.

This single can be downloaded, for free, from the band's Bandcamp page.

Texas Prog-Rockers, The Mars Volta, have also been vocal in their support of Le Butcherettes. Guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López has produced 'Sin, Sin, Sin', as well as contributing some bass guitar to the recording and occasionally joining them on stage to perform it. He will be facilitating the release of their album, on May 10th, 2011, on his own record label.

Keep up with the force of nature that is Le Butcherettes, through their official site, MySpace, Facebook and, of course, Twitter.

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