Spinnerette - Spinnerette (Cover Artwork)


Spinnerette (2009)


If the Ghetto Love EP -- released by Spinnerette late last year -- was anything, it was a statement of intent. That statement screamed an unconcealed desire for change -- a curiosity, diversity and experimentation that Brody Dalle had previously kept carefully repressed within the closets of her mind during her years as the in-yer-face frontwoman of L.A. postcard punx the Distillers. While Dalle claimed in an interview with MTV in 2007 that her Spinnerette output would "not be that far removed" from her latter work with The Distillers, this could not be further from the truth. As Ghetto Love illustrated, Spinnerette is a brand new machine altogether -- and this self-titled LP only serves as further proof of this -- with Dalle here delving even deeper into her creative soul, spitting out whatever she finds, no matter how dark, how bleak, how challenging.

The album itself, like the preceding EP, varies greatly in tone -- veering without warning from agitated to upset, from depressed to celebratory -- but always glued together with a dark undercurrent. Often sounding like a post-apocalyptic punch-up between an angry, cocaine addled My Bloody Valentine and the Distillers on an amphetamine stained comedown, Spinnerette is full of desolate laments that document the inner demons residing within the mind of Dalle.

From the sexually charged "Geeking" and the troublingly incestuous "Sex Bomb" to the love shattering "Cupid," Dalle at times sounds lost in the traffic of her own racing thoughts; however, there is something endearing about the honestly with which she dispatches the woe from her bleeding heart. Flashes of what Dalle is capable of appear intermittently; "Driving Song" is one notable example, as she articulates some of her most poignant, refined and confessional lyricism to date: "If all the love in this world isn't enough / Where do you go? / Who do you trust? / I find myself wrapped in the arms of emptiness / I can't stop running away / Can't find a place to exist."

But beyond merely exploring Dalle's inner self, Spinnerette is an exploration in the creation of music -- the arrangements here are more complex, more diverse than any generic, archetypal ‘punk song.' It is here that one must admire Dalle, for she is attempting to pursue a creative direction that is a purer representation of her character than the Distillers would have permitted -- a woman of her stature, reputation and fame could quite easily churn out an album of candy-coated, radio-friendly blasts of pop-rock for big money, but instead she has chosen to stay true to herself.

The flipside of this, though -- of creating something so distinct from her previous work -- has resulted in what is essentially a complicated album: a maze of ideas, together with a mesh of styles that at times wanders close to something bordering on special, other times stumbling onto the wrong side of forgettable. Yet this is a good album that reeks of potential -- the beginning of a journey that will surely, and almost inevitably, yield greater fruits.