Butcher Babies live review – London, Underworld

Raunchy metallers Butcher Babies fight to prove their worth. Support from Sumo Cyco.

Butcher Babies, live at London Underworld
(Image: © Jake Owen)

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In Skye Sweetnam, SUMO CYCO [7] have a frontwoman with star power. Her days as a 00s pop star à la Avril Lavigne are long behind her, but she’s brought her spunk and chart sensibilities to Cyco’s meaty take on No Doubt-meets-Distillers punk.

Critics have, of course, been too busy working themselves up about BUTCHER BABIES[7] self-coined “slut metal” tag and frontwomen Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd’s cleavages to give their paint-stripping vocals the credit they deserve.

But when it comes to it, tits don’t start pits, so it’s the Californians’ insatiable energy and beefy nu metal and djent-lite riffs that get the crowd moving. Muddied sound renders Heidi’s vocals almost inaudible, but the band are tight and heavy. Carla’s vein-popping growls are delivered with sledgehammer force, Magnolia Blvd is a genuine banger and a cover of 1966 novelty song They’re Coming to Take Me Away oozes vampiric Manson-inspired sleaze. But elsewhere Butcher Babies are frustratingly derivative, with riffs recycled, diluted and taken from Slipknot, 5FDP and SOAD 101. It’s hard to resist when every note is delivered with unwavering ferocity and passion, but you can’t help wish Butcher Babies’ music was as memorable as their performance.

Dannii Leivers

Danniii Leivers writes for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, The Guardian, NME, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and more. She loves the 90s, and is happy where the sea is bluest.