When you think of metal or punk, you might think of spikes, leather, denim ... Battletoads and Castlevania, maybe not so much.
There was a time when genres stayed isolated, perpetuating stereotypes, keeping themselves static and unchanging. It's just not that realistic, however. For those of us who love punk and metal, sure we spend plenty of time burning churches and smashing capitalism. We also play video games, eat pizza, read way too many comic books and geek out on cartoons and TV series. Probably while listening to Mastodon and Flux Of Pink Indians.
Doll Butcher, the duo of Adam Carignan and Chris Carignan, make metal for the rest of us. Metal, that is, blended with thrashy punk - not that uncommon - and elements of chiptune and noise, which is a first for me (and here I thought I had heard every metal sub-genre known to demonkind).
Doll Butcher's self-titled debut Doll Butcher was literally written in one month, just days after the band got together, as part of the RPM Challenge, to record ten songs in 28 days. Doll Butcher is a compelling mixture of blazing guitars, powerful drums, some melodic screaming and the aforementioned noise experiments. Considering the fact that the record was recorded largely with weird and cheap gear, it sounds damn good, despite the characteristic unevenness of an unmastered record. You might have to ride the dial a bit to adjust the volume, but still, it's kind of a relief, in the face of the slick, flat plasticine hyper-compressed pop music on the radio.
I must admit the 8-bit tracks are my favorite as it feels like some dungeon rave in a Lavender Town crypt, in a way that is novel and new and that makes the record stand out from the pack. Doll Butcher's other standout details are the guitar playing and the drumming, both of which are highly proficient, even if the Carignans keep things stripped down and to the point, most of the time. They did only have a month, after all.
So if you like to rage against the machine , and also play with machines, this one's an end-level boss of a record, for sure.
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