The Distillers - Man Vs. Magnet / Blood In Gutters [single] (Cover Artwork)

The Distillers

Man Vs. Magnet / Blood In Gutters [single] (2018)


The business of reuniting is good. The multitude of legacy acts, broke-up-too-soons, and indefinite hiatuses who have found their way back to their instruments is underscored by the constant stream of nostalgia centered releases and sets. A band can generally decide a couple paths to take when reuniting; full blown new album, reunion tour on their most successful album, festival spots for a greatest hits set, or putting out a few singles to spur interest and garner headlines. The Distillers split their time across the latter three. After a string of shows over the summer, The Distillers have released their first new recordings in 15 years.

The Distillers were beloved during their active years. The band cut their teeth making street punk before evolving in a hard rock direction garnering attention in mainstream outlets. Since their breakup, Dalle has kept herself busy mixing her trademark snarl with desert rock psychedelics. “Man vs. Magnet” offers the first glimpse of The Distillers’ new direction with Dalle confessing she’s a rotten lover to the core. It contains the dusty swirls of guitars found in Dalle’s most recent output with Tony Bevilacqua holding down the lighter moments via straining riffage. While the closing of the song hints at the street punk of yesterday, this song is an extension of the direction Spinnerette and Dalle’s solo efforts were heading.

The B-side takes “Blood In Gutters,” a song off Dalle’s solo record Diploid Love and adds a Distillers’ filter to it. The fuzzed out nature of the original is sped up and the production effects are turned down for a straight-ahead rocker. The chorus has Dalle hitting a classic sounding chorus with her voice straining, “find your weakness and kill it / so long good riddance.” Ryan Grim’s bass adds a new element to the song as its electronic distortion swings up and down the neck in the second verse. It’s the better of the two tracks.

Including “Blood In Gutters” in this release was indicative of where The Distillers are in 2018. They are largely continuing in the same vein as Dalle’s solo years, integrating some stoner rock tendencies into their brand of punk rock. Barely a year into their reunion, these new recordings give a glimpse into what the future might hold for The Distillers.