The album feels like so many moments throughout my life, from my high school days sporting sewn on punk rock patches and studs with bondage belts over top, to my later teens cruising the backroads of Southern California with the night sky above chain-smoking in my broken down Buick about to learn the hardest lessons of my life in my early 20’s. I remember and still rely on, the therapeutic value of “The Hunger.” It was an anthem for letting go of my first real heartbreak, recovering from losing friends and family to the most fucked up situations imaginable, or for just fighting depression so deep I couldn’t recognize myself or my life.
This album was always there.
Dalle and I have battled similar demons; it was conceived while she was battling hers, and I was just getting to know mine. This album entered my life at the right time, following me into my darkest places while I blasted its riffs and choruses through the hallows of my own struggles, with Dalle’s voice and lyrics playing as the soundtrack in the background.
“The Coral Fang” is more than the album that gave the band one of its most commercial and poppy hits “Beat Your Heart Out,” it’s an entire journey in itself, and it makes a great companion for misery. It recognizes your shit situation, your shit life, your shit feelings, calls you out on your fears, insecurities, and suffering and doesn’t make you feel bad about it; in fact, it empowers you, if you allow your interpretation to do so. Dalle says so herself, “At the end of the road, you will find the answer.”
This album does what all of the best punk rock albums do. It talks openly to you about how life sucks, you’re pissed at yourself and everyone, you’re hurt, your heart is broken and you don’t want to be here anymore. But that’s okay, cause you’re not the only one who feels this way, and the proof is here in these songs.
Check out ATA and Emily’s Timeline Review of the Distillers’ Reunion Show at the Hollywood Palladium here.