Let’s face it: Chicks with guitars are a dime a dozen these days and finding the right combination of rock ’n’ roll bombast and high school hip-sway can be as arduous as looking for water on even the hottest of Sahara nights. That said, fleshy California cuties the Donnas have always prided themselves on their own sense of Converse-wearing chick power that sounded something like the Ramones boffing the Runaways while chewing out the rhythm on bubblegum. On their sixth album, however, the Donnas have done more than fill out their tight tees. With aid from hit producer Butch Walker, they’ve vigilantly filled out their sound too; the frolicsome three-chord punk fest that once characterized the Donnas rumpus is nearly gone, replaced with their most diverse collection of tunes to date. The standout title track, a pop ditty that uses (gasp) acoustic guitar and keyboards under a bouncy pop melody, is a far cry from the once self-proclaimed teenage rock ’n’ roll machine, but one that might have longevity. Do we spite the Donnas for growing up? Well, maybe just a bit, but only because it was a lot more fun in the old days.
Shannon McCarthy writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].