March 15, 2002

Test Spin: The Distillers

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“Fuck, stick a rag in the top of The Distillers and you’ve got yourself a Molotov” — bombastic statements like this characterize the explosive, high octane sound of The Distillers’ second album, Sing Sing Death House. The formula is the simple, tried and true punk standard: raucous bouts of syncopated beats, speeding bass and guitar, topped off with guttural vocal harmonies. Without an inventive sound, the band falls back on their distinctive attitude to separate them from the multitude of similar punk bands. Frontwoman Brody Armstrong (wife of Tim Armstrong of Rancid) lends not only her massive mohawk charisma but also her fiery songwriting and vocal talents.

On “Sick of It All,” Brody delivers a rowdy chorus of the band’s ethos, “We are kids, we play punk rock n’ roll/ If we didn’t we got no soul.” In twelve tracks of conformed style, yet defiant attitude, The Distillers break no new musical ground. However, the zealous hardcore-punk still captivates.

Archived article by Andrew Gilman