With album art that features grotesque images of crucified women, razorblades, abortions and suicides, and such appealing song titles as “Drain the Blood,” “Die on a Rope” and “Death Sex,” the Distillers’ Coral Fang is possibly the least Wal-Mart-friendly album in the history of music. It’s crude, obnoxious and vulgar in every aspect. But it’s also a brilliant modern punk-rock achievement.
Over a guitar blitzkrieg featuring dense, Cobain-esque tones and blistering punk-metal riffs, Brody Dalle (former Mrs. of Rancid’s Tim Armstrong) delivers an S&M growl so powerful and coarse that she makes Courtney Love sound like a prepubescent choirgirl.
It would be easy to dismiss Dalle’s lyrics as trite teenage rants, with silly lines such as “Oh, how my death march / Brings a tear to your eye / Oh, how the noose / It swings when you die,” but her delivery brings them relevance. It becomes clear that she’s not just out to make you understand her angst. She wants to offend you like you’ve never been offended before, to strike sheer terror into your soul, to cut your heart out with a rusty razorblade and eat it raw. If only you’ll let her, you won’t be disappointed.
Rating: 4 stars.