The Distillers - Coral Fang (Cover Artwork)

The Distillers

Coral Fang (2003)


I'll confess I was quite looking forward to this record as I'd enjoyed their previous album though felt it inconsistent. With a new label, new guitarist and a new surname the Distillers had every chance of delivering a top-notch album. But it sounds like they couldn't be bothered. I didn't get this album until it had been out a week or so by which point various members of the British press had labelled it a success and were saluting Brody for being an out and out rock superstar as well as a ‘real' alternative to Avril & Kelly (God help us) in the role model stakes. It was at this point that I began to worry slightly that the album had been overtaken by a whirlwind of hype & melodrama.

Onto the album…. come on you remember. It starts off with the first single; Drain the Blood which I first heard this through this website and really disliked it. However with repeated listens it gets stuck in your head and this alone makes it more enjoyable. From here we move onto more solid ground & the middle of the album is where its at its strongest. Tracks like ‘Die on a Rope' & ‘The Gallow is God' represent a step up for the band and had this been the standard all the way across the album it would have been great. ‘The Hunger' sees them move away from ‘Rancid Tribute Band' status although unfortunately sounds a bit too much like Hole for their own good. It is however the best track on the record featuring an acoustic guitar with a Santana-esque riff in the middle & Brody proving that she can sing but needs to cut down on the Marlborough's.

After this things take a turn for the worse. Hall of Mirrors is ok but from then on the best word to describe the songs is anonymous. No matter how hard you try to absorb them it can't be done and you find yourself playing with the Thomas the Tank Engine ball you got for your birthday. Track 11 ‘Deathsex' is an interesting contrast to end the album with; it has the most intriguing title of the lot and is by far the worst song on here. A 2-minute song is followed by 10 minutes of feedback and other odd noises. Not big, not clever. Maybe WB has a minimum album length policy or something but if not I fear I've missed the point.

One of the unfortunate things about this album is that it requires a summary of all the drama that has preceded it before you can get onto the actual songs because it is this drama that defines it for most people. Without the turmoil that preceded it the review would probably read; the Distillers made an album that was ok, it certainly didn't suck, but is nothing special. And you'd think…'who?' Huh that was easy.

Launch the Coral Fang Player