If you like the soft/loud approach of The Pixies and the noise pop perfectionism of Nirvana, there’s a new trio on the NYC scene that’s sure to delight – Creature & The Butterflies.
Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Chris Seifert debuted the band as a solo project in 2019 with the release of two singles, “Sweet Tooth” and “Turnaround.” The latter is a delightfully noisy and demented reinvention of the DEVO classic, one also covered by Nirvana on their Incesticide compilation. In 2021, Seifert released his tenth and perhaps most commercially appealing song, “Murder Machine.” This is a suitably mad, mid-tempo Ramones/Nirvana stomp with a cutting, single-note guitar solo straight out of the Neil Young “Cinnamon Girl” school.
While the multi-instrumentalist Seifert comported himself well on guitars, keys, bass and drums on his slew of singles, the band is even tighter now with the recent addition of a new killer rhythm section. The band’s newbies are pigtailed drummer Timmy Emmerich and bassist Bettina C. Emmerich has a sledgehammer, four-on-floor approach and a never flagging energy that brings a new level of vitality to Seifert’s prior recordings. Like Talking Head Tina and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Bettina C is a cool presence on stage. She’s also the sonic glue that holds (or maybe herds?) together Chris and Timmy’s poppy cacophony, one that could easily go off the rails her rock steady riffage.
This new lineup showcased their stuff at their second-ever gig together Wednesday night at Berlin Under 2A in Manhattan.
Like his idol Cobain, the eight Seifert originals played were grungy, noisy, feedback-laced pop perfection. They each boast killer riffs, crunchy chord sequences and smart, hook-leaden middle-eights – a compositional maturity that shows the band could be real contenders in the altrock marketplace.
On stage, Seifert has the dry sardonic presence of another of his idols, Lou Reed. At the performance, he cast off self-depreciating introductions to songs that amused the packed house.
The band ran through several of the singles you can find on their Spotify page like “THEM,” “Boy with Guns” and “Murder Machine.” But perhaps my favorites were two new tunes. “Viper Dog Fish” is a dropped-D tuned smasher driven by a riff Black Sabbath would love to have penned while “Friends” is, again, Seattle grunge more than a pinch of Lower East Side punk nihilism. It’s lyrical hook, one repeated again and again in the chorus – “I Don’t Have No Friends.” That certainly wasn’t the case at this performance.
Creature & The Butterflies have several area gigs upcoming, and will be at The Delancey June 4 at 10 pm. Visit them on Instagram.