It’s hard to believe that it’s been a decade since the release of Coral Fang, which would irrefutably ignite Brody Dalle’s music career and the punk rock scene alike. That’s not to say that life for the former Distillers star has run smoothly; if anything, it’s been the exact opposite. Having battled a crystal meth addition, suffered the breakup of The Distillers and ended her turbulent relationship with Rancid singer Tim Armstrong, Dalle’s first solo album Diploid Love is what she describes as a recording about life: “creating it, living it and surviving it”.
Rat Race is an ambitious opening track, with a combination of driving rhythm guitars and the implementation of neat little pop pulses as a side-liner. Setting the tone for the record, the clear theme resides around determined toughness and enduring life, no matter what the odds. The multiple layers give the track added depth in terms of first-rate production values; it’s just a really slick piece of contemporary punk rock.
Don’t Mess With Me showcases Dalle’s absorbing gravelly vocals that pierce through the killer funk beats and fragmented song breaks. Her voice is outstanding and it’s tracks like this, reminiscent to the Distillers era, that we realise just how much we’ve missed her.
But it’s the triumphant centrepiece of the album Meet the Foetus that shows how much pregnancy has influenced and shaped Brody as both an artist and parent. Encompassing themes of pure untainted ecstasy and illustrating a wholesome love for life, it’s an orgasmic foundation for an epic upsurge within song writing creation.
As a whole, the album displays a clear transition phase, maturing into a sound that we’ve not heard from Dalle before. Carry On displays a new vocal softness, which you wouldn’t think capable from her smoke filled lungs. The ringing piano, sweet natured lyrics and levelled down harmonic drone is a strong sentiment of actuality.
Dalle’s life has (and probably always will be) a wild and stormy ride, which she’s managed to dramatically convey through Diploid Love. It was the album that we’ve all been waiting for and one that, like many Brody inspired records before, has the potential to become a cult-classic.