On their new release Don’t Bleed, the originally Mexico-based noise rockers in Le Butcherettes deliver a musical snapshot of anxiety, which feels richly explored so that — in the end — it’s captivating. They’ve aptly elevated quite everyday-based experiences like the feeling of nihilism in the lyrics of the release’s first single “Tunisia.” Now, they’re (metaphorically speaking) in something like a technicolor madhouse where emotional despondency riding atop perfectly situating, gritty garage rock rhythm keeps the lights on.
The band have again expanded their sound palette here — that constant dynamic evolution feels like as fixed a part of their identity as just about anything else at this point.
The opening track, called “Wounds Belong To Me,” kicks off with a clearly purposed, lo-fi recording focusing pretty much just on guitar strumming and frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s singing, which here and throughout the record ties the music together with passionate dynamics. That first track isn’t just an intro. The next song, called “Out For You,” feels invigoratingly physically and psychologically intense, with rocking groove and some of those often present, perfectly off-kilter, mood-setting keyboard performances. By the time “Now I Know” rolls around, the band have dialed back their music to an intricate but understated rhythm that puts the spotlight on Teri’s singing, like they’re approaching the contemplative emotional meanderings of math rock, with its musical stops, starts, and zig-zags.
The last two tracks dive even further off into psychologically-situated sound — “Love Someone,” the lyrics of which pack a startlingly direct assessment of how often pain accompanies love, floats through hazy tones that feel like the isolated atmosphere of classically great psychedelic rock, and closer “Boom” veers even further into that strangely but surely danceable territory. The beat kicks up, and as that track rolls through, the group sound like they’ve pretty expertly proven how to use these rock music elements to get at the experience of living through the tension expressed in the lyrics. It’s a story to latch onto of a struggle to get ahead — a real story, which gets translated into the music too. What’s not to love?
Check out the music! Don’t Bleed dropped February 14 via Rise Records, which also released the group’s most recent album, bi/MENTAL. Order here.