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Sarah Tomlinson

The Distillers: Coral Fang

Brody Armstrong and her LA-based punk quartet, The Distillers, have undergone some big changes, which they pack into their latest full-length album, “Coral Fang.” There’s Armstrong’s divorce from Tim Armstrong, founder of punk band Rancid, which seems to creep into the lyrics “You said you want a revelation, revel in this, my lover, you’re free, at liberty,” delivered in Armstrong’s deep, bruised voice on “Hall of Mirrors.” There’s Armstrong’s overall growth as a songwriter, as she grinds her loss into visceral, gritty music that shimmers with beauty. Also new is a fuller, more complex guitar sound, thanks to the addition of guitarist Tony Bevilacqua, who adds jangly guitar melodies over Armstrong’s athletic rhythm guitar, as on the manic breakdown during “Die on a Rope.” This was also the band’s first time working with producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Dashboard Confessional), who spotlights their new melodic developments while maintaining a tough, bristling punk heart. But punk boundaries are stretched, too, as on “The Gallow Is God,” which finds bassist Ryan Sinn and drummer Andy Granelli laying down a sultry, menacing rhythm, and “The Hunger,” which opens with a loosely strummed acoustic guitar. Swooning and blistering with a mix of melody and ferocity, the album bleeds and rages, turning change into potent music.