Thee Butchers' Orchestra

Drag Me Twice

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It'd be tough to list all the guys aping Iggy Pop in the 21st century. And still, Marco Butcher stands out. The guitarist/vocalist for Sao Paulo's Thee Butchers' Orchestra shouts,slurs,and sings with the feral swagger of vintage Stooges' material -- that electric mush that counted for lyrics and sounded like a chip on the shoulder vocalized. Brazil knows this -- the Butchers are a big part of that country's thriving trash rock scene. But barring a great 7" for Estrus in 2002, Drag Me Twice provides the U.S. its first real access to the trio's messy heaven. The set, issued through Ann Arbor-based No Fun Records, combines the Butchers' 2001 album Golden Hits with its follow-up In Glorious Rock 'n' Roll, which comes to a total of 29 tracks, two battered guitars, choppy peels of organ ("Yeah It's True" and "Uncle Black"), and those slobbering, serrated vocals -- Drag Me Twice truly is sleaze-o-phonic. "Got Me in a Hook," "Trouble Maker," and the particularly chaotic "Special Spy" are spattered with heavy blues chords and guitars set to "blare," and "Feelings on Fire" offers a little reprieve with its barroom piano and Rolling Stones' nods. Demolition Doll Rods' Dan Kroha produced the Butchers' In Glorious Rock 'n' Roll, traveling to Brazil from Detroit to do it. He strengthens the band's sound on "Alligator Shoes," the warped '60s dance number "Darlene," and the softer-stepping prowl "Sex Boogie," getting better definition between the instruments and highlighting the Butchers' increased command of dynamics. There are times in the latter half of Drag Me Twice when Marco emulates not so much Iggy, but the deadpan woman-talk of Jonathan Richman. Butchers Orchestra won't appeal to everyone. They're kinda sleazy, for one. And, for all their charisma, the sound doesn't travel too far past its influences. But those same factors are pluses for underground rock fans, and they'll love this block of Butchers rock.

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