Coral Fang

The Distillers

Sire Records, 2003

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson


What I would want for the Distillers is to show up on a tour with them as a supporting act. I think a blistering 30-45 minute set would make the headliners play balls-out every night. The Distillers have an air about them that makes you fear that you have to follow their obnoxious vocalist/guitarist Brody Dalle and whip the crowd into even more excitement in order for the crowd to appreciate your hard work. It would not be an easy task, not to mention all the controversey that surrounds the Distillers. The naked crucified female on the cover of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Coral Fang, the graphic artwork within the CD booklet, the Parental Advisory sticker . . . the screaming vocals of the band's female singer/guitarist, the press kit that stated the band hates each other . . . wasn't this band called "Hole" in the 90s?

The comparison may be natural, but I can't say it's really fair, nor is it one upon I will base this review. Instead, it's important to realize that guitarist/vocalist Brody Dalle is the forefront of this band. This 11-track release focuses on the type of no-frills alternative rock/punk that was prevalent when simpler times allowed bands to focus on a riff and hammer the crap out of it until a song was formed. No guitar solos or individual showcase spots for the band members to shine or step up and make a single musician the focus of the band. This works to the band's advantage because it makes Dalle's aggressive vocal delivery the forefront of the band's attack.

The uptempo songs, when Dalle is not wallowing in despair, but using her angst to propel the band work best. "The Hunger" and "Hall of Mirrors" stand out as being the band's focal points. The melody is not overly complex and would translate to a live setting easily.

The Distillers strike me as the type of band that would thrive on playing 5 out of 7 nights on a tour across the states, playing to sweaty, drunkards, who just want to dance or bob their heads to the beat. The lyrics and music are especially memorable. After listening to this release six times, I still can't recite the lyrics without having the CD booklet in front of me, yet with each listen, I catch more and more of the intricacy of this band.

Perhaps the most over-stated track about the band's music is the 12 minute plus opus and final track "Death Sex." The song starts out as an aggressive punk track before collapsing into distortion and screams from Dalle. It sounds like the song was recorded live, with all the distortion and miscellaneous drum hits before the band returns to the fast beat and then closes the song out to waves of distortion and cymbals and drums.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2004 Paul Hanson and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sire Records, and is used for informational purposes only.