The Butchies


by Erik Gamlem


There is urgency, an emergency, a love song and plea to be heard around the world. The masses of men and women sitting in the new rock boredom miss the days of heartfelt politics and personal stories. We have been left with a slew of under-heroes, unable to continue the cavalry charge and fire shots that need to be heard around the world. The Butchies, however, have come to deliver the war to your ears and save you from the failings of the recent crop of non-heroes.

The Butchies have created a nine-song album that you can believe in. Its arena rock sounds on “Anything Anthology” capture a real power and ask poignant questions about what the populace is looking for. Kaia Wilson, the Butchies’ chief singer and guitar player, asks “who wants it like it was before” and proceeds to name arena rock acts and years in which music was something more unifying and expansive. Her point here is that we have let a flood of music into the population that does not speak anything but nihilism and selfishness. Music is supposed to have meaning, but when all you hear is “me, me, me” from the singer on stage, you begin to wonder where the universal connection is.

The musical structure of the Butchies is coming into its own as well. One cannot help but find a bit of Fugazi jealousy in the music, although it is influenced as much by thunderous rock sounds. The track “Huh Huh Hear” is a prime example in which this power trio explodes immediately, only to come to a wonderful simmer supported by Melissa York’s soft drumming. The band builds on the tension into another explosion as York and co. bring it back full-steam into your face. “I Hate .Com” is just pure pop genius with an awesome keyboard breakdown. In fact, this is the breakdown album and each one is so different and important. The Butchies mellow you out before they break back into the rock.

The closing track “Junior High Lament” is a sweet-sad melody about adolescent hate crimes. Wilson tells a chilling tale of prejudice about sexuality and gender born in the minds of America’s youngest citizens. “Junior High Lament” is a telling portrait of an unsympathetic nation that teaches its kids hatred for difference before they are even old enough to understand it themselves. You will remember what it means to cry at the power of music and words as the Butchies dance out of the air and into your heart.

If you are looking for the fuel to feed your rock-and-roll fire look no further than the Butchies. They are a warm front in an unending cold climate of piss-poor arena rock music and horrible cookie-cutter indie bands. There has been a plague infecting the boys and girls for years and hopes for a cure seemed futile. However, the Butchies have brought the medicine and with a little luck can cure and kick-start the kids back into the wonderful world of punk rock and passion that has been missing for years.

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