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The Donnas - Spend the Night Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 October 2002

The Donnas
Spend The Night
format: CD
label: Atlantic
release year: 2002
performance: 8
sound 7
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

ImageThe Donnas have a slightly higher proof than did The Go Gos (think a female Ramones), yet they’re not quite as leather-toughened as Joan Jett & The Blackhearts were. They make music that is beautifully dumb, in an ACDC kind of way, and they are much more danceable than that old Australian dinosaur group will ever be. Spend The Night is a lot like a teenage girl slumber party, only with electric guitars.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t take long for these Donnas to serve notice onhow this isn’t your typical adult-supervised gathering of young people.Casual drug use is referred to in “Pass It Around” and “You Wanna GetMe High,” and “Take Me To The Backseat” is not exactly the same thingas an invitation to the prom. On “Take It Off,” these gals say to boyswhat guys normally say to strippers. Without a doubt, these are fourgirls who like to play dirty, if you know what I mean.

The sound of this album is mainly crunchy guitar rock, but there arealso enough melodic hooks to make Cheap Trick give ‘em a wink and asmile. The singing throughout is particularly rough ‘n’ tumble, whichis perfect for the kind of garage chic they’re obviously going for. Insome places, such as with “Pass It Around,” backing vocals are shouted,much like they once commonly were back in the old glam rock days. Thereisn’t a lot of musical showing off going on within this recorded party,and just like that old high school cheerleader anthem, they’ve gotspirit, yes they do. This is the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that makes theneighbors reach for a phone to call the police, whenever it’s playedtoo loud at a block party.

Songs like “It’s On The Rocks” hint at a little trouble in this girl’sschool’s romantic paradise, but these are all done with the kind ofmock seriousness one usually hears when chatty girls get together togossip. A quartet of punk Jewels, they’ll never be.

The Donnas, like The Go Gos and The Ramones before them, bring back alarge dosage of stupid fun to rock ‘n’ roll. “Spend The Night” isbetter felt than heard. You can keep your ego here, but you may justwant to leave your brain and any common sense at the door beforeputting this one into the deck.

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