Fans of The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In’s Oman Rodriguez-Lopez (who produces here) will be familiar with Le Butcherettes frontwoman Teri Gender Bender from his Bosnian Rainbows project. But, fine as that band is, the Mexican singer is even more of a force to be reckoned with as part of this punchy trio.
On this, Le Butcherettes’ third album, they have a simple but potent mission statement: to explore and humanise the struggle of the oppressed and downtrodden. And the band do that unflinchingly on the short, deceptively sweet Sold Less Than Gold, with its portrayal of the sex-slave trade that says as much in two minutes as Lukas Moodysson’s brilliant but harrowing film on the same subject, Lilya 4-Ever, does in two hours.
Elsewhere they leap from raw garage rock to strident, catchy punk to forceful, dark synth-pop, while Iggy Pop channels El Diablo terrifyingly on the queasy and uneasy La Uva.
With intelligently handled subject matter to stand alongside the likes of Bikini Kill, and sparkling but off-kilter melodic skills that allow comparisons to Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O, Gender Bender has empathy to spare, and is a punk rock poet to believe in.