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Le Butcherettes — bi/Mental (USED)

Le Butcherettes — bi/Mental (USED)

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Limited Gold and Yellow color vinyl pressing. Used Copy. / Overall a great used copy, vinyl is super cool looking! / Media is a NM- to VG+ condition and has been ultrasonic cleaned. / ARTWORK is also nearly Mint but has a tiny bit of markings on spine from what I'd imagine is from handling.

Over three previous albums, Le Butcherettes, led by frontwoman Teresa Suarez-Coscio (aka Teri Gender Bender), have executed a body of work chaotically informed by anarchist punk, gothic post-punk, primitive electronica, psychedelia, acid funk, and to a much lesser degree, arena rock. Fourth outing bi/MENTAL takes their sound to a completely different level, and Gender Bender's confessions, rage, and hard-won insights deliver listeners into the depths of her psyche.

This band's debut for Rise Records offers a slate of personnel changes and a new producer in former Talking Heads keyboardist Jerry Harrison. As an album, bi/MENTAL's songs are linked thematically, revealing in sometimes horrific detail how mental illness can run unchecked and unmentioned inside a family and then spread. Gender Bender began writing bi/MENTAL after locking herself in her room following a violent altercation with her bipolar mother -- she was left with stitches. Gender Bender trades on her own experiences as both a daughter and a woman/witness and protagonist to deliver this chilling exposition. Current members of Le Butcherettes include the powerful drummer Alejandra Robles Luna, Riko Rodríguez-López on guitar and synth, and Marfred Rodríguez-López on bass. Gender Bender plays various keyboards as well as sings. She enlisted help from Jello Biafra on opener "spider/WAVES"; he delivers a loopy spoken word narrative near the end of the tribal post-punk jam. L.A. hardcore legend Alice Bag assists on "mother/HOLDS," as spidery gothic electro and frantic new wave engage anthemic garage rock. Chilean singer/songwriter (and Latin pop sensation) Mon Laferte delivers the only non-Anglo track, the hooky, mutant pop of "la/SANDIA," which is turned inside out by a lyric directed at pregnant women trapped in less than desirable unions. The track "strong/ENOUGH" is introduced by minimal, gritty drum loops and synth blips before shape-shifting into a tribal-sounding cinematic soundscape: "My heart is headed out the door/Don't need your abuse no more...." The song "father/ELOHIM" struts along a post-punk groove before a fat horn section and spiky lead guitar hammer at one another as Robles Luna's tom-toms and snares propel them on, followed by Gender Bender's delivery of a pop-psych hook in the refrain. Despite its intense and troubling lyrics, "nothing/BUT TROUBLE" is almost danceable with its whomping bass line, sharp synths, and menacing guitar riffs. And "sand/MAN" is, in essence, an exercise in gothic electro, with sweeping layers of vocals in a nightmarish juxtaposition of warped desire that ultimately results in subjugation (of the female protagonist) and violence.

With Gender Bender the only constant member since the group's founding in 2008, Le Butcherettes have crafted an emotionally resonant, musically unhinged, and militantly psychological body of work that explodes the male chauvinism of Western cultural myths and directly challenges racial and familial stereotypes. The songs on bi/MENTAL are exquisitely crafted, forcefully immediate, and searingly intimate. They are also plenty loud. Despite the growth and sophistication that their musical journey reveals here, Le Butcherettes still honor the fiery spirit of punk as the heart of their sonic maelstrom.

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