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July 14, 2024

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The Distillers
Sing Sing Death House (Hellcat/Epitaph)

By: Cam Lindsay

First and foremost, The Distillers' vocalist, Brody Armstrong (yes, wife of Rancid's Tim Armstrong), sounds like Courtney Love. Dead on, but much harder, like she has some gravel stuck in her throat. If Courtney's bite could match her bark, she'd have something as good as The Distillers. Sing Sing Death House, the band's sophomore effort, is easily the best straightforward punk album out of the US this year. Armstrong and her crew mix the type of street tough punk her hubby's known for with intense brashness that sometimes borders on hardcore, forming some real mind-pounding anthems. In less than 29 minutes, the album passes by without a chance to breathe. Although Armstrong really tests her vocal chords on shouters like "Bullet and the Bullseye" and "Desperate", a lot of this record is surprisingly filled with catchy choruses. Buried under speedy drum rolls and loud, frazzled axe riffs, tracks like "City of Angels", "Sick of It All" and "Seneca Falls" all have tasty sweeteners hidden inside.
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