Release Date: Jun 23, 2009
Record label: Anthem/RED
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
The passing of four years and a different name should be enough clues that Spinnerette are a far cry from Brody Dalle's previous band, the Distillers, but the extent of just how different Spinnerette is still might shock longtime fans. The Distillers' swan song, Coral Fang, was polished compared to melees like Sing Sing Death House, but Spinnerette's state-of-the-art California trash-pop is buffed to such a high shine that it almost feels subversive compared to Dalle's previous piss and vinegar. These songs are unapologetically slick and hooky, with more in common with bandmate Alain Johannes' other project, Queens of the Stone Age -- whose leader, Josh Homme, is also married to Dalle -- than Dalle and Tony Bevilacqua's Distillers roots.
After making a terrible noise with Los Angeles guitar grunts the Distillers, their former singer, Brody Dalle, has plumped for something blessedly different for her first solo album. It would be exaggerating to say she's gone pop, but as Spinnerette she certainly displays more of an aptitude for making listenable music. The spirit is no less raucous, but there's a new-found propensity for the anthemic and melodic that balances out the grunginess.
Throw enough shit at the wall, and some of it will stick. MGMT spring immediately to mind: Oracular Spectacular lurched from rubbery disco-funk to bone-dry acoustic dirges via monolithic electro anthems, and as a result, about a quarter of it worked. Brody Dalle, on the other hand, has long championed pretty much the antithesis of this approach. As the Strepsils-dodging angst panda at The Distillers’ blustery helm, she proved that you only need chuck a handful, so long as you do it HARD ENOUGH.
If the mid-90s rock scene was a dumping ground for post-grunge projects and budding alt-rock diamonds in the rough, then it seems that Spinnerette would be right at home on a side stage at Lollapalooza circa ‘94. And that’s not meant as a knock, really, but more of an affirmation that the band’s more obvious inclinations have been successfully communicated. After all, it’s fairly easy to see that on their self-titled debut, all of the trashy, post-grunge riffing and mechanical Garbage-style production certainly suggests a mid-‘90s affinity.
Click here to get your copy of Spinnerette’s ‘Spinnerette’ from the Rough Trade shop.
Former Pitchforker Eric Carr, while reviewing the Distillers' Coral Fang, called singer Brody Dalle "an impassioned, powerful frontwoman, the legitimate heart of her band, and probably the most dominating female presence-at-large (read: receiving M2 rotation) in rock right now." Good times. Too bad they didn't last very long. A few years after the release of that major-label debut, the Distillers disbanded, and Dalle spent the ensuing years popping up as a guest on her husband Josh Homme's albums with Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal.