REVIEW: bi/MENTAL by Le Butcherettes

“That’s a badass f**kin’ album!”

Those were the first words out of my mouth as I completed my first listen of bi/MENTAL from beginning to end. Five or six listens later and I’m still feeling that way and that’s all you truly need to know! Just go and download some of the released tracks already. Pre-order so you don’t miss the full-length LP the minute it’s out on February 1st! Here’s the link.

Just do it because anything more I say from here forward cannot do justice to this latest creative endeavor from one of the coolest, most down to earth, humblest, and incredibly talented group of individuals you will ever see on any stage… Le Butcherettes!

But, if you want to know more, it’s my job to tell you more, so feel free to proceed…

As many are aware, Le Butcherettes are veterans of punk rock goodness under the leadership of the mighty Teresa Suarez Cosio, best known as Teri Gender Bender. But, with bi/MENTAL, it’s as if all this time she’s been holding back despite the much-deserved success Le Butcherettes has had thus far. The lyrics, choruses, riffs, and production of bi/MENTAL are all spot on and something in the album just resonates as, “Hold our stuff and get out of the way, because we’re here to kick some musical ass!”

“Music is my outlet,” says Teri. “Music keeps me away from trouble. It keeps my mind free. It makes me feel connected to God like everything will be okay at the end of the day.”

The artist we’ve grown to love as Teri Gender Bender is present in every note of bi/MENTAL. The haunting falsetto introduced by an infectious guitar riff draws you in on the very first track. The empowering verse on give/UP and strong/ENOUGH uplift you with the epidemic of Teri’s voice. And, the bass carries you through as Alexandra’s resounding strikes on her kit lead to some unexpected air drumming to match the track.

Pleasantly surprising is the appearance of Mon Laferte on la/SANDIA, which plays like a contemporary twist of a lullaby. But, the exploration of collaboration doesn’t stop there. mother/HOLDS is a cooperative victory drafting the iconic punk rock singer/musician, author, educator, archivist and co-founder of one of LA’s first-ever punk-rock bands Alice Bag (the Bags). And, spider/WAVES is complemented with a spoken word delivery by Jello Biafra, artist from a not so little-known punk band named the Dead Kennedys. These appearances lend for some tremendous credibility to Le Butcherettes’ roots in their genre.

Of the singles that have already been released from bi/MENTAL, the video for father/ELOHIM gives you a clear glimpse of the persona that is Teri Gender Bender on stage.

This is the type of production that leaves you struggling to choose a favorite track because each is as great and unique as the other and each song relates to a different story inside you. bi/MENTAL and powerful recent performances at Chicago’s Metro and Taste of Chicago with the Flaming Lips have elevated Le Butcherettes to another level for me.

I’ve always been a fan but now I’m like a Café Tacvba level fan of Le Butcherettes (sorry Tacvbos). And this album is in great part to blame. Please don’t read this as a review. Read it as a heartfelt invitation to check out one of the best albums you may listen to this year!

“If you listen, I hope it moves you—even just a little bit, I’m not asking for much, maybe just a finger. That’s all I could ask for.” – Teri Gender Bender

I had the pleasure of shooting Le Butcherettes earlier this year at The Metro.

You don’t want to miss their next show on February 20 at the intimate Cobra Lounge by Riot Fest presents.