Fiction Reform - Revelation in the Hands of the Weak (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Fiction Reform

Revelation in the Hands of the Weak (2010)


Don't mention Brody Dalle, don't mention Brody Dalle, don't mention Brody Dalle...

As much as I'd like to avoid falling into a trap of generalizing punk bands with female singers, there's no way to escape the comparisons between L.A.'s Fiction Reform and the Distillers of the exact same locale.

Revolution in the Palms of the Weak is nine bursts of female-fronted fury plus one meandering acoustic number in the form of "Come Back Home," a minor-keyed creeper that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the album's more abrasive approach.

"Whites in their Eyes" is a militant-sounding but expressly non-militant anthem of an opener, one in which lead singer Brenna shouts, "I walk the narrow path of discipline and perseverance / If what I want is truly written / I must not jump the gun, I'll stand my ground and hold my fire / 'Til I see the whites in their eyes." "Small Silhouette," which also appeared on the recent Protect 2 benefit compilation, follows suit, with even more of a Distillers sound and a rather hostile tone. The band pounds along through "Sins of the Father" and "Cancerous Gold" before the catchy "Mr. Eva Braun," which is either about Adolf Hitler or Joseph Ratzinger based on the references to Mussolini, Stalin and Pope Innocent.

"180 Avant Garde" is a half-speed rocker with lyrics revolving around a sinner's salvation, and a tempo that provides a nice change from the driving pace of the rest of the album. Rounding out the LP is the melodic punk of "The Bitter Crop," which attests, "I touched the fire / Flesh burns an effigy of flames / Sweet scent of magnolias in the air / I tied my noose, I'll swing in it."

With members from such high-profile SoCal acts as Bullet Treatment and the Last Gang, it's no surprise that Fiction Reform would deliver in such a confident manner on their debut release. Whether you're looking for a replacement since the Distillers broke up or just dig gritty, melodic punk rock, Revelation in the Hands of the Weak will satisfy either craving.