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Right Round, Baby, Right Round

Spinnerette_Album_CoverBrody Dalle has always been a princess of punk, though her position in the line of succession has been disputed. Alternately disparaged as a poor man’s Courtney Love, others hail her as everything Love could have been, and a rock at the heart of the alternative/punk music scene. Currently married to Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, divorced from Tim Armstrong of Rancid and front-woman of The Distillers for three albums, there’s no doubt surrounding Dalle’s credentials. It’s been a long time coming, but finally, Dalle releases her new album, this time working under the name of Spinnerette.

Dalle has described Spinnerette not as a band, but her working with “whichever musicians I want to work with at the time,” and the personnel on this record have just as much pedigree as Dalle herself. She is joined by Tony Bevilacqua (formerly of The Distillers), Jack Irons (from Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pearl Jam) and, most notably, Alain Johannes, who has previously worked with Queens Of The Stone Age and Chris Cornell and who shares some of the song-writing credits here.

“Spinnerette” is made up of a mixture of songs, many of which echo the styles Dalle has previously shown with The Distillers while providing a broader and more mature sound that is at once infectious and sexy. Lead single “Ghetto Love” provides the album’s introduction, with its bass-driven riff and sultry vocals making way for some psychedelic guitars and the anthemic, audience-inclusive “hey”-shout of the chorus. “Valium Knights,” easily the best song of the collection, closes the album out, an explosive ode to death (or rather, short life.)

The rest of the album is no less infectious, drawing comparisons with both classic punk, and those bands that the genre might not want to claim as its own. Straightforward tracks like the werewolf-as-desire symbolism of “All Babes Are Wolves” (evocative of Dalle’s work with The Distillers) or the heavy, 8-minute epic sexiness (and southern rock) of “A Prescription For Mankind” make way for “Sex Bomb” and “Rebellious Palpitations,” a mashing of styles that remain guitar-driven, but make you wonder what Gwen Stefani’s solo career might have sounded like had she focussed on a heavier, rockier sound. For “Distorting A Code,” Dalle’s vocals take on a softer edge, channeling Debbie Harry as the band make like the rest of Blondie, the track even fading out for the perfects 80s flashback experience.

Here moreso than ever before in her time with The Distillers, Dalle’s strengths are clear, that she is capable of crafting and performing some mighty fine pop-punk songs that even the most hardcore of punk traditionalists can (and should) appreciate, a skill that is most obvious in “Geeking” a chilled, sing-along melody reminiscent of a sound R.E.M. or The Smashing Pumpkins had nearly twenty years ago. If Dalle can keep turning out albums like this over the next twenty years, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be talking about Spinnerette in the same awed tones. As such, the album gets a solid B+ (and will be staying on repeat for a good while.)

For those of you Ireland-bound, Spinnerette are performing at this year’s Oxegen Festival on July 10th; “Spinnerette” is out now, and the video for “Ghetto Love” is below.

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