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Noticeably Spinnerette follow on from The Distillers propensity to, at times, underwhelm substantially.

Fittingly for a woman considered one of rock n roll’s sexiest, the debut Spinnerette sleeve features a woman’s lacey pants and corset, which sets the tone of dirty seduction to run through the entirety of this album. Brody Dalle has teamed up once against with Tony Bevilacqua, of the Distillers, and dragged her husband’s some-time band mate into the fray, in the meaty guitars of Alain Johannes. Keeping it in the musical family, Johannes’ fellow Eleven sticksman, Jack Irons, takes the stool for Spinnerette.

With a collective of rocks fairly elite, you would anticipate that Spinnerette would rock our bones consummately as the first three tracks indicate. Opener ‘Ghetto Love’, taken from the December EP of the same name, comes on all brutish with its Queens bass rumble and snare kick. Above, Dalle’s voice winds up and down, throaty and authoritative despite singing “I’m just a girl, I’m looking for love”, which manages to be less wet than that sounds. Likewise the later tracked ‘Sex Bomb’ struts its nether regions, crooning, “won’t you be my daddy, please?” with all the posturing of a prostitute.

‘All Babes Are Wolves’ begins like Status Quo taking a serious shot at a 90’s Wrigley’s advert, its stuttering lines over warm, looping, fuzzy guitars, all semblances of which are firmly crushed by the wailing Dalle takes up during the chorus. This is a pretty expectant trick that she has mastered and pulls out of the bag like an over-enthusiastic magician, which as you can probably appreciate gets less thrilling with each listen. Whereas ‘Cupid’ shows off a subtler side of things, less all out larynx destruction and more mood building, but no less threatening in its intent.

However, by the 20th minute, ‘Geeking’ has hit and things are starting to unravel, as the threads of guitar and bass don’t sound quite so fresh. And try as she might, Brody won’t increase a song’s likeability by increasing her volume – it’s just not a direct science. What they do manage to achieve, though, is a grand sense of musical intuition: That everything is selected to be just so and fit in the appropriate gaps. Yet the drums fills and expanding bass does little to give the impression Spinnerette are presenting as a totally new prospect.

Things improve significantly with the likes of ‘Distorting A Code’ with its ostinato melody unfurling reams of invention to mesmerising effect. The track also sees less bluster from Dalle and more enchantress restraint, which – much as we love her lungs – does come as a welcome break in the norm. It has the disorientating power, strangely like ‘Windmills Of Your Mind’, but obviously with less Dusty Springfield and more arse-pinching sexiness.

Tucked in with a few more predictably likeable, but hardly mould-breaking numbers, ‘The Walking Dead’ creeps in like the hollowing out of Dalle’s soul, and the highly set guitar assists the feeling of being more ‘off the cuff’. Subtracting the vocal elements, ‘The Walking Dead’ could easily be something from Howling Bells second effort, which is no bad thing. But with much of Spinnerette, there seems to be a recurring theme. Noticeably Spinnerette follow on from The Distillers propensity to, at times, underwhelm substantially. If they could hone their use of the trigger, so that not every song ended up being a regimental verse-chorus, power-through, no nonsense affair it seems the more divergent parts of their output would thankfully be less like needles in haystacks.

Tags: Spinnerette, Reviews, Album Reviews

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