It’s been three years since one of punk’s most famous frontwomen disbanded the very group that
put her at the forefront of wet dreams, magazine posters and everything cool you wish you’d done first. Since then, Brody Dalle has clearly buried the memory of The Distillers in a top-secret location, because there’s no sign of them anywhere in new project Spinnerette.
But we still have Dalle’s trademark snarling vocals and ex-Distiller Tony Bevilacqua’s raw guitars channelling aggro through our speakers, right? Well, not quite actually. Clues to what Brody’s come up with instead might be found in the revamped, mature and slick-looking rock starlet image she adopted in the video for debut single ‘Ghetto Love’. Surely a tantalising taste of what pop-rock goodness is to come? Again, not quite.
As ‘Spinnerette’ unfolds rather than, as the closing track would have it, ‘A Prescription For Mankind’, it appears to offer nothing but quasi-medicinal placebo bollocks. We feel like we got sold herbal E and it didn’t even get us stoned. ‘Cupid’ is a perfect example: a weird, slow, half-arsed attempt at a song that delivers pretty much nothing in the way of any excitement. By the time we’re midway through an attention-challenging 13 tracks, we realise that Dalle’s voice, which once threatened to make our hearts explode, now leaves us with just a little hard rock akin to what you’ll probably find beneath Frank Carter’s ribcage.
‘Baptized By Fire’ is almost a redeeming feature, leaving us a bit warm under the collar if nothing else before the Texas-style (yes, Texas) MOR chorus kicks in. ‘A Spectral Suspension’ begins with the line “Go to sleep”, which turns out to be the best thing Spinnerette have suggested in the last 20 minutes. The amateur camp disco of ‘Sex Bomb’ has us feigning a headache while on ‘Rebellious Palpitations’ LA’s most interesting modern punk heroine fails to cause anything of the sort.
And yes, we are upset. Dalle has mellowed from the fiercely gobby, punk vixen whose blood-red lips we all instantly fell for. Don’t get us wrong, we didn’t simply expect another Distillers record but we did hope for something, well, better. Here’s to having faith that our Lady ’rette spends less time decorating the studio and more time writing good tunes in it for her next venture.
Click here to get your copy of Spinnerette’s ‘Spinnerette’ from the Rough Trade shop