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The Distillers

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Album Review

If you believe that punk rock started around 1975, the year 2000 would mark its 25th anniversary. At the end of the 1990s, not many of the early punk bands were still together — the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Damned, Sham 69, and the Dead Boys had long since broken up. But punk's influence remained strong; young punk bands were still emerging, and countless alternative rockers claimed punk as a major influence even if they weren't punk artists per se. Recorded in December 1999 and January 2000, this self-titled Distillers CD is a throwback to the raw, in-your-face aggression reminiscent of late 1970s/early 1980s punk. While fast and forceful cuts like "L.A. Girl," "Oh, Serena," and "Girlfixer" aren't innovative or groundbreaking by 2000 standards, they're exhilarating and inspired — this enjoyable, if uneven, date lets listeners know that hardcore punk still has possibilities in the 21st century. The person who brings the Distillers' lyrics to life is lead singer Brody Armstrong, whose screaming, jagged vocals are definitely on the abrasive side; no one's going to mistake her for Enya anytime soon. Armstrong was only in her early twenties when this CD came out, which means that ironically, she wasn't even born when the Sex Pistols were formed in 1975. Not perfect but certainly respectable, The Distillers reminds everyone that punk has yet to outlive its usefulness.


Formed: 1998 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The hardcore punk outfit the Distillers first came together in late 1998 when Aussie native Brody Armstrong met bassist Kim Chi at work and realized their love for playing. Soon they hooked up with Detroit guitarist Rose Casper and drummer Matt. Signed to Epitaph, the band issued its self-titled debut in April 2000. Sing Sing Death House appeared the same year, but was re-released in early 2002 thanks to the sudden popularity of "Seneca Falls." By now, Kim Chi had left the group to join Exene Cervenka...
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The Distillers, The Distillers
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