Butcher Babies

ButcherBabies-01CButcher Babies is an American neo-thrash metalcore band from Los Angeles, CA. The band is fronted by Heidi Shepherd (vocals) and Carla Harvey (vocals), with Henry Flury (guitar), Jason Klein (bass) and Chrissy Warner (drums). They cite as influences Otep, In This Moment, Marilyn Manson,ButcherBabies-06A Slayer, Pantera, Slipknot, among many others. However, their biggest inspiration is found in the late Wendy O. Williams of punk/metal icons The Plasmatics. Butcher Babies‘ name is taken from The Plasmatics‘ song “Butcher Baby” (which appears on their 1980 debut New Hope For the Wretched), and, until recently, the two sexy frontwomen of Butcher Babies often wore electrical tape crossed over their nipples like Wendy O. Williams. Butcher Babies are also influenced by violent horror movies such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, etc, which is apparent in the band’s lyrics and shock-rocking live performances in which the two frontwomen are regularly doused in blood. Both Shepherd and Harvey are not only singers, but models and actresses, too; and, Harvey, my new favorite sexy-hot female rocker, is a comic book fangirl and author.

ButcherBabies-06CCarla Harvey, originally from Detroit, MI, is biracial and, as such, endured ridicule for her preferred taste in metal and hard rock which only strengthened her desire to do what she wanted, how she wanted. She started out as an entertainment reporter for the Playboy Channel, and has appeared in several movies and TV showsButcherBabies-11 (including various episodes of Spike TV‘s MANswers with Shepherd). Her first comic book (with illustrator Anthony Lee Winn), Butcher Babies (based, obviously, on her band), was released at Comic Con 2011. Her recent graphic novel (also with Winn), published in 2013, is Soul Sucka, a Blaxploitation-influenced “look at America’s dark history through the eyes of an ass kicking, attitude wielding, Afro wearing, black vampiress in search of her roots.” Harvey, surprisingly (or not) also has a degree in Mortuary Science. Oh, and best of all, Harvey once attended an all-girl private Catholic high school! But, this blog is about music, right?

ButcherBabies-04AButcher Babies‘ self-titled EP (2012) boasts a cover that reflects the frontwomen’s love of horror films, looking like the poster for a Rob Zombie movie that was never made. But, the EP lives up to that artwork’s promise with 4 tracksButcherBabies-13 exploding with extreme metalcore riffs and violent lyric imagery. “Axe Wound” opens (pun intended) the EP with this warning from a woman scorned: “I am not your savior / I’m your Anti-Christ.” In “Mr. Slowdeath”, driven by a Motley Crue-ish riff, the women, apparently, speak of how everything in your life comes back to haunt you. Silly me, I thought it was about drug addiction! “Jesus Needs More Babies for His War Machine” drives it’s provocative title into your brain with an addictive (meat) hook. And, in the brief final track, “National Bloody Anthem”, the women scream, repeatedly, “There’s…blood…everywhere!” over a Nirvana-esque guitar riff hiding under all the metal mayhem. Awesome EP!

Watch the video for “Mr. Slowdeath” here:

ButcherBabies-12On Goliath (2013), their excellent debut album, Butcher Babies “juxtapose brutal, aggressive riffs with beautiful melodies that wail with anguish and hope for redemption” as they examine “the ruins of an American culture obsessed with apocalyptic carnage.” Shepherd and Harvey’s dual melodic vocals mixed with Shepherd’s harsh screams is what sets this band apart, but, on Goliath, that dynamic is accentuated with stronger melodies and harmony. They make “apocalyptic carnage” sound both horrific, and lovely.ButcherBabies-14 The album opens with “I Smell a Massacre” which warns of the coming apocalypse: “Save yourself / This is straight war / The writing’s on the wall.” Ooh, I hope it’s a zombie apocalypse! In “Magnolia Blvd”, we find ourselves in the aftermath, alone: “This city creeps down the alleys of disease / When you’re hanging by a thread / And no one can hear you scream.” And, in “Grim Sleeper”, the end comes: “She screamed in bloody murder / Her limbs all turning numb / So numb / It’s closing in / It’s closing in.” Death, or zombie? You decide. I don’t really know what it means, but, all that rage and aggression over metalcore crunch is just badass. I feel it. Other favorite tracks are “C8H18 (Gasoline)”, “Goliath” (which kicks out more Motley Crue-ish riffs), “The Mirror Never Lies” (which is what Rage Against the Machine would sound like if Zack de la Rocha was two sexy-hot women), and “Dead Poet”. Butcher Babies are, with this album, my second favorite metalcore band, second only to In This Moment.

Watch a behind-the-scenes look at the video for “Magnolia Blvd” here:

ButcherBabies-02Butcher Babies Discography
2012.05.29 – Butcher Babies [EP]
2013.07.09 – Goliath [Album]

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