Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Spinnerette 2009

You know that newish band Sleigh Bells that everyone is so damn excited about? The rah rah electro-propulsive metal sound? Well, Spinnerette crushes that with way more attention to craft. Several tracks on this explosive debut LP have very similar "rah rah rah" cheerleader chants backing up growling vocals and coupled with propulsive buzzsaw riffs. The big difference is that Spinnerette is far from being a one trick pony. Along with the aforementioned dose of the rah rahs (Ghetto Love, Sex Bomb, Baptized by Fire), you also get soulful death marches (Driving Song), noodly stoner chants (Impaler, Distorting a Code), and end of the world doom metal (Cupid, Prescription for Mankind, A Spectral Suspension). Way more ponies. Very catchy death dance metal ponies.

It all started when the VVers met a bartender who appeared utterly disinterested in just about everything whilst in Richmond last year.  She was playing this album during her day shift at Sticky Rice. I recognized the vocalist's raspy wails swimming in a skuzz of distorted techno skronk as Brody's and inquired with a "hwaaah?" Our aloof bartender transformed to chatty, surly, excited, and a little jaded at the world all at once. Needless to say, that experience stuck with the VVers and I ended up mail ordering this hot pink disc through the newly minted "The Record Exchange" (f/k/a CD Game Exchange) in the SS hood.

Brody Dalle, formerly of punk/alt rock band, The Distillers, unleashes a slew of gnarly vocal growls and haunting moans on this album. Those who know this band might expect something a little less popish, but frankly, Spinnerette is a much more accomplished and melodic effort than any Distiller's record; and they still cram in plenty of ear crushing vocals, chalk board scraping chords, and morbid metal to please this fan. The new sonic forays might be attributed to the input of collaborator Alain Johaness, working in Cali (instead of Distiller's home base Australia), the influence of recent hubby (and Queens of the Stone Age frontman) Josh Homme, and a host of other things. Likely the combination of growing up a tad and breaking free of a major label had a good deal to do with the powerful and more mature new musical direction. Hell, she's got a great voice and she doesn't need to waste her talent screaming away all day.

You'll be listening to this and not be the least bit surprised when you're dancing and rocking out at the same time. Most tracks are jammed with steady thumping rythym for the shaking of booties.  Think it's all fun and games? Noooo. Dalle has that rare combination of croon and snarl in her vocal chords. It soothes and the next second rends. It's a real bastard.

Spinnerette's soundscape is permeated with odd blorps and beeps that sound like they've been fed through the doom machine a few times. Imagine it's a warm and sunny day just before the world ends and you're listening to a Devo song that's been covered by Joan Jett, and then remixed by Satan. Hooray!

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