Le Butcherettes’ latest release Cry Is for the Flies is literally a far cry from bandleader Teri Gender Bender’s earlier work, especially 2011’s Sin Sin Sin. While the primal scream-adelic tone of Sin Sin Sin was refreshingly vibrant, Teri Suárez aka Gender Bender uses this recording to demonstrate the constancy and rich texture of her voice. Without losing track of its passion, Suárez sounds deeply, darkly resonant on opening track “Burn the Scab.” That track also showcases a stuttering melodic basis that's perplexing but ultimately rewards listeners with its ability to simulate human emotional states. “Boulders Love Over Layers of Rock” offers listeners an enigmatic electro feel mixed salaciously with Nina Hagen-esque vocalizations, just as “Poet from Nowhere” could be a pop song topping the German charts. Overall Cry Is for the Flies is a stunning statement of artistic evolution that never abandons Suárez’ punk roots but instead expands on them in massive, singular doses.
Melvins mainstays King Buzzo and Dale Crover joined forces with Butthole Surfers veterans J.D. Pinkus and Paul Leary for their latest record hold it in. Sounding as buzzed out and sludgy as ever, Buzzo and Crover actually add depth to their signature sound with inclusion of former members of Gibby’s Texas toilet-psych army. Opener “Bride of Crankenstein” carries on the Melvins' tradition grandly, while “Barcelonian Horseshoe Pit” is spacey enough to cause listeners to peek out their windows or front doors for evidence of an alien infestation. “I Get Along (HollowLeary Moon)” has hollowed-out honky tonk conceits, and closer “House of Gasoline” is a reminder of the rocked-out goodness that Melvins have always been capable of generating. Of course Buzzo’s guitar dominates this album and for good reason. As the brains behind the outfit, his vision is as cruel and crunchy as ever.
Terrorbird/El Marko recording artist Mr. Gnome (singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer/pianist Sam Meister) release their second album of art rock titled The Heart of a Dark Star on Nov. 18. Deeply textured with layers of musical nuance and ghostlike, emphatic vocals, this work is worthy of inclusion in just about any post-rock record collection. Lasting less than a minute in duration, the title track is haunting and at its end, awakening. That tune gets followed up by the quirky, jaunty and galloping sounds of “Rise & Shine.” It isn’t all whimsical artifice for Barille and Meister though; “Star Stealers” proves the band is deeply informed about the rocanrol genre, while the creepy lo-fi construction of “Odyssey” could have been drawn from cosmic interactions with the Boognish. This album is never a novelty or an anomaly. Throughout, Mr. Gnome repeatedly demonstrates that Cleveland rocks after all.