Butchies Make Yr Life

It’s still hard to get over Team Dresch, but at least we got the Butchies out of it. Kaia Wilson grew up and out of angry baby dyke, right into achy-hearted lesbian, and this is what she has to show for it. The Butchies peaked in 1999 with Population 1975; the record had all the stuff that makes the trio great — rambunctious energy, intentionally raw, tight musicianship with enough breakdowns to be punk, melodies succinct enough to be pop, and Wilson’s smooth cries ably carrying it all. The punk has gradually turned to more serious pop rock with every record, but it’s impossible to deny that the Butchies, although soft, remain affecting. If you don’t feel the closing track, a cover of the Outfield’s "Your Love,” just a little, you must be made of stone, because one thing these women can certainly claim is the crown for perfecting the love ballad. Had Kaia been born a straight man, she’d probably be worshipped by emo kids everywhere as a musician before her time, who, nowadays, is putting out cleaner, poppier adult records that sometimes glimmer with the light of the past. And wait — that’s exactly what she is doing now but without the masses of horn-rimmed glasses paying any attention. Who knew a queer girl from the American west coast would be so good at this emotional indie rock stuff? (Yep Roc)