Teri Gender Bender bends gender and genre alike in this new EP, DON’T BLEED, out now via Rise Records. This EP is a fitting Valentine’s Day release, have strong motifs of love aimed in various directions carried by the most unique blends of sounds that Le Butcherettes have incorporated to date but still carrying those garage punk rock riffs you expect from this band.
Once again, the music shows off frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s versatile and explosive lyrics that echo her poetic lyric writing.
But the album, which she said holds a narrative of a woman in dialogue with god, has “a powerful double meaning of being told not to bleed as a woman and feeling shame of blossoming, so with time we are manipulated to hide in the darkness and our blood calls out to the forest creatures pulling them in closer to us for the hunt, even if we hide we are exposed.”
And this is seen in the EP. very directly in the song “DON’T BLEED YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FORREST”. But the prose poetry that is Teri’s lyrics carry more meaning.
It only makes sense that this EP came out on Valentine’s Day, as it shows an arc that begins in sadness and dejection, and ends in a calm but self-assurance and strength, through a journey of self-exploration. It’s an album that screams riot grrrl, that could be a soundtrack to hitting and surviving puberty, but also like the music a 90’s punk plays for romantic ambiance.
We start off at “WOUNDS BELONG TO ME”, a song that puts us in a basement spying on someone playing music for themselves trying to release some pain. It sounds like a mix between delta blues and the post-punk stylings of the Raincoats.
Then we start to break out into a stride in “OUT FOR YOU” that revels in the fact that someone our protagonist openly went for and loved didn’t meet them halfway. The riffs and drum work start to stir up energy and make you wan to yell along.
The third track “DON’T BLEED YOU’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FORREST” transports us to some strange scary forest where the monsters in the dark play 80’s emo/new wave Talking Heads and Joy Division type of music.
“NOW I KNOW” follows and conveys a message of: I fucked up by not seeing who you really were.Teri’ vocals in this song show that punk explosiveness but also rock back and forth with an airiness similar to dream pop like the Marias.
“TUNISIA”, the lead single of the EP, continues our story’s arc. We were down. We realized the truth not just about ourselves but of the world. And we learned so it’s time to celebrate us and go forward. “I’m masturbating thinking of no one at all!” Teri exclaims, and immediately follows up defending that by saying it’s not selfish.
“LOVE SOMEONE” reigns back in. The song is a track that you could see Teri singing in a cocktail lounge, the room pitch black minus the lone light illuminating her and the occasional orange ring from someone smoking a cigarette. “Love someone that hurt you, it’s a price you pay when you’ve fallen deep,” the soft vocals waft over the metronome that is Alejandra Robles’ drumming.
“BOOM” echoes the suffering that comes from loving so deeply. The album is over and it all imploded. So we start again.
By Antonio Villaseñor-Baca