By The Donnas
I think every girl would secretly like to be a Donna. I mean, what teenager doesn't want to wear a pair of cowboy boots, some tight rhinestone-embellished jeans, plenty of beads and toss their suitably windswept and tousled beachy hair around their face and a stage for a good half hour or so? I for one wouldn't mind a quick break from the formation of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive once in a while. They look as pretty as a picture and get to stalk about with the cherry-pick of shiny guitars, leading crowds in the kind of handclap staccato shenanigans found on tracks like the giddy, slick and hip-swinging 'I Don't Want To Know (If You Don't Want Me)'. Which, by the way, will make your head nod and roll about like you're on some sort of steroid; and if you're already on some sort of steroid then you cranium will undoubtedly go through the roof.
They have their gutsy, gutteral moments, Brett's sulky deep-throated vocals skulking about in the verses of 'Don't Break Me Down'. Guitar solos are tastefully restrained with no laughable whining histrionics, showing that these Bay Area gals have an eye for quality and finesse as well as their horse-drawn-Western-frontier-style-wagonloads of simmering talent. However, on a whole, this record is overlong and slightly repetitive, wearing out its formula a little (though not until it's threadbare).
They take the lads on, but remain decidedly feminine. 'Fall Behind Me's chorus is wilfully tempting, tantalising and attitude-laden - these are girls in charge of themselves, their style and their sound. To use their own turn of phrase, 'You're gonna cry and beg for mercy... and you've got nothing on me'.
Each one of 'em could show that poser of a fake Lavigne a thing or two; put together they may feel inclined to beat her to quite an abundance of pulp, although they're probably far too refined for that. No reason to stoop to that level of gimmick; The Donnas provide wholesome, enjoyable skips through fields in the Midwest amidst a sunflower haze with a few scenic mountains hanging about and a VW Kombi parked somewhere off to the right. An on-the-road, sprightly, fizzy, decent album. With fetching artwork.