15 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It seems inevitable that as punk-inspired groups age they slow down their approach and add little flourishes to vary their sound. The Donnas continue this trend. The once young and spunky group (still only in their late 20s) temper their usual all-out party approach with a shot of moderation. Where punk rock energy once fueled this rambunctious quartet, they now embrace subtler textures, layered guitars and refined vocal harmonies, turning closer to the tighter strictures of hard rock. The Joan Jett influence still shines through (“Don’t Wait Up For Me”), but there’s also an unusual restraint to “What Do I Have To Do?” where the excitement is less in the group’s trademarked unison vocals than the guitar solos that recall late-‘70s / early-‘80s pop-metal groups such as Loverboy (whose album cover is paid tribute here) and even Def Leppard. Yet, they’re still looser and wilder than most pop-metal of that era — though the massive harmonies of “Save Me” are surprising in their sleekness. The party is still on — “Here for the Party,” “Better Off Dancing” — but it’s no longer guaranteed to go all night.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It seems inevitable that as punk-inspired groups age they slow down their approach and add little flourishes to vary their sound. The Donnas continue this trend. The once young and spunky group (still only in their late 20s) temper their usual all-out party approach with a shot of moderation. Where punk rock energy once fueled this rambunctious quartet, they now embrace subtler textures, layered guitars and refined vocal harmonies, turning closer to the tighter strictures of hard rock. The Joan Jett influence still shines through (“Don’t Wait Up For Me”), but there’s also an unusual restraint to “What Do I Have To Do?” where the excitement is less in the group’s trademarked unison vocals than the guitar solos that recall late-‘70s / early-‘80s pop-metal groups such as Loverboy (whose album cover is paid tribute here) and even Def Leppard. Yet, they’re still looser and wilder than most pop-metal of that era — though the massive harmonies of “Save Me” are surprising in their sleekness. The party is still on — “Here for the Party,” “Better Off Dancing” — but it’s no longer guaranteed to go all night.

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