It was only recently that I started paying attention to Butcher Babies, when they released their Uncovered EP. And as it goes, I started actually noticing when their name was mentioned. It’s apparently called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Once I had “discovered” Butcher Babies I unconsciously began to keep an eye out for them, therefore making me feel like I was hearing of them more often than before. And of course, being that Butcher Babies is not fronted by just one, but two women, coupled with their prior image, most of what I read focussed on boobs, how hot Heidi and Carla were – or weren’t – and how “unmetal” they were.
I don’t know, I guess you could say that when Heidi and Carla used to wear nothing but nipple tape, they weren’t exactly helping the situation, but if that’s what they chose to wear when performing, well so be it. When a woman, regardless of how she dresses, fronts a metal band people everywhere just start ignoring the music and focus on nothing but levels of hotness and how they couldn’t possibly keep up with men; and of course how they aren’t “metal” enough. Everyone conveniently ignores the talents of the other band members – because you know a band is more than just the vocalist – and in this case that is Henry (guitar), Jason (bass) and Chris (drums), not to mention the talents of the two vocalists. And you know what, everyone here is talented.
When Butcher Babies released “Monster’s Ball”, the opening track for Take It Like A Man, the internet went wild with accusations that this was the worst metal song ever. Over exaggeration? Yes. People make these comments about bands like Butcher Babies because they know that people will blindly agree, because I get the feeling that maybe it is considered “cool” to dislike metal bands with women. This of course doesn’t apply to everyone, but mainly keyboard warriors.
And sure, “Monster’s Ball” might use the tried and tested carnival announcer intro that the track comes back to throughout, but does that make it the worst metal song ever? Maybe it isn’t breaking new ground, but how many metal (or any) bands really are? Are we going to hate every song that comes out that uses something that has been done before? If so, I suggest to just stop listening to all music.
Butcher Babies wanted Take It Like A Man to go back to their thrashier roots and “Monster’s Ball” opens the album perfectly in that mindset. And by the second chorus I found myself singing along, and jumping a little in my chair. Take It Like A Man is more heavy and raw than Goliath, that was a little more melodic, but Butcher Babies still include a decent dose of melody in their latest record. They dial things right down with “Thrown Away” that features nothing but clean vocals, letting you really hear the emotion the band wanted to bring to the record.
Take It Like A Man might not be breaking any new ground in the metal world, or reinventing the metal wheel, but does it stand up as a good metal album? Yes. It’s got all the right ingredients, and most importantly those ingredients were cooked properly to create a decent metal album, and a good sophomore record for Butcher Babies. What’s more, you can hear definite improvement from their debut album Goliath. Heidi and Carla have improved in their rough vocals, and the instrumentation is solid from beginning to end. That difference can really be heard in the inclusion of their very first single “Blonde Girls All Look The Same”. The track has been completely redone, and you can really hear the growth of the band when you listen to the 2010 version and the 2015 version back to back.
So, before you make a judgement on Butcher Babies’ Take It Like A Man, listen to the album and make a decision for yourself. Not a decision based on what everyone else is saying, or that has anything to do with the fact that two women front the band. And I can’t really stress this enough, listen to the music, the hotness levels of Heidi and Carla, really don’t factor anywhere in to the question on whether or not Take It Like A Man is a good album.