wears the trousers magazine

spinnerette: spinnerette (2009)


Spinnerette ••••

Brody Dalle won a legion of fans during her days as the liberty spike and gravel yell sporting lead of punk stars The Distillers. Their 2003 release Coral Fang saw a somewhat maturer take on the thrashy distortion of the previous year’s fierce Sing Sing Death House and 2000’s black-eyed low-budget debut, but proved to be their last, ushering in an acrimonious split. Maintaining both her silence and dignity through the band’s dissolution and her very public divorce from Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong, the punk queen took a few years out of the clamouring media spotlight, a period which included parental bereavement, marriage to new beau Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, motherhood, and the creation of new outfit Spinnerette. Initially joined by QOTSA’s Alain Johannes, Jack Irons (Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and former Distillers comrade Tony Bevilaqua, Dalle has since been at pains to qualify the term ‘band’, adamantly stating that Spinnerette is essentially her, supported by “whichever musicians I want to work with at the time”. This assertiveness is both impressive and overdue, and should help dispel the sporadic, disparaging whispers that she relies on her musician husbands to bolster her own repertoire.

While the Spinnerette name emerged in 2007, various legal woes with labels and a commitment to perfecting the material meant fans had to wait till late 2008 for the first release, the Ghetto Love EP, which, with the exception of ‘Bury My Heart’, brings its strutting songs onto long-player Spinnerette. Still drawlingly husky, Dalle’s Marlboro-rich growl has developed a sultry power that would have had no room to move amid the breakneck speed of The Distillers. The poetic, detailed lyrics that Coral Fang hinted at are projected with a potency that’s both intense and effortless, and oscillate from knowing and cryptic to sensual and bold. While live shows have seen Dalle retiring her own trusty six-string to part-time usage, the guitars on Spinnerette are immensely capable. Thick, fuzzed up, and sounding almost like synth-produced chords, yet speedy enough to reveal masterful fret manoeuvres, they are anchored around the elegantly swaggering basslines that take a prominent, thematic position throughout the material.

Defying strict categorisation with easy aplomb, Spinnerette’s sound could be described as falling somewhere between sexy, grunge-tempered rock and punk inflected indie. Some songs have a pumping immediacy, such as the frenetic, punching ‘All Babes Are Wolves’ and catchy opener ‘Ghetto Love’, while others like the dreamy ‘Distorting A Code’ are more slow burning, and benefit from repeated listens. The gypsy incantation of ‘Impaler’ stands out mostly due to its unconventional deviation from the album’s buff distortion, while the horny apathy of ‘Geeking’ should be an easy favourite. The shimmering, reverb-kissed ‘The Walking Dead’ might echo the bass formula in the blushingly provocative ‘Sex Bomb’, but there’s nothing wrong with repetition when it sounds this good.

Spinnerette is an album that confirms Dalle as an evolved, maturing musician with a creative capacity for songwriting that extends well beyond the formulaic punk of her earlier years. The album stands with a proud nonchalance, and while it must be acknowledge that there is a certain glimmer of her husband’s signature QOTSA sound here and there, it’s an understandable and affable echo rather then a sign of anything that other critics may point to. In all, this album is a winner.

Charlotte Richardson Andrews
UK release date: 15/06/09; www.myspace.com/spinnerettemusic


‘Ghetto Love’


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

YES! YES! YES! finally! when will it be out???

Comment by sami

It’s already in the shops here in the UK, was released on the 15th.

Comment by Wears The Trousers magazine

h.m.v lied to me!

Comment by sami

You’re right, we’ve waited tooo long for this!

Comment by m

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