Published in The Music (WA, NSW, VIC, QLD) | 23.04.14 | Issue # 35
22 April, 2014
After fronting three separate projects over her 20 years making music, it’s about time Brody Dalle put out a record under her own name. Best known as the angst-filled teenager from ‘90s punk band The Distillers, Dalle’s grown up quite a lot since the band called it quits in 2006. She’s traded in a large portion of the aggression that once drove her music for thought-provoking lyrics and a new patience with song structure. The nine tracks on Diploid Love present Dalle in a different light. There’s no denying her songwriting has improved, but the loss of the aggression with which she used to project her lyrics leaves a void, occasionally filled with guest appearances from Garbage’s Shirley Manson, The Strokes’ Nick Valensi, Michael Shuman (Queens Of The Stone Age), El Mariachi Bronx and more.
The other problem with this record is the simplicity of some parts, which is a result of Dalle taking on a little more than she can handle and playing 90 percent of the instrumentation – the drums rarely add any dimension and become a little too repetitive, and the bass doesn’t add as much as it could have if only more thought had been put into it.
Anyone who caught Dalle with backing band in tow during her NIN/QOTSA support slot knows these songs hold up live incredibly well – they just don’t quite make the cut on tape. The end result leaves Diploid Loveshowcasing great songwriting stifled by poor execution.