The Donnas Spend The Night Review

Album. Released 2003.  

BBC Review

Their recipe is a simple one...Grope a boy, throw a party and pass round a doobie...

Bren O'Callaghan 2003

Four brash banshees from Palo Alto High ditch the Valley Girl trappings of conventional pubescence; all but out-grossing the likes of L7 without hurling sanitation products into the crowd.

At a grand old average age of just 23, this is album number five under their assumed Donna monikers: although if you include earlier releases as both The Electrocutes and Ragady Anne, they've notched up a whopping seven albums fuelled by a potent hormonal soup.

Their recipe is a simple one, albeit not one that Fanny Craddock would approve of. Grope a boy, throw a party and pass round a doobie. Boil until menopause, add HRT patches and repeat. Critics might pick at the paucity of subject matter,as the band barrel on in search of fresh man meat and the next roll-up. They pick up where Joan Jett's leather 'n' ladies line up The Runaways left off, but distance themselves from the bovver-booted girl power of Sleater Kinney. Any dissent will be met with wanton acts of vandalism: "Were over I'm all done / Yeah it's time to have some real fun / So I'm callin all my ladies / Were gonna key your Mercedes" ("It's On The Rocks").

Spend The Night finally extends their usual 60-seconds bursts of love and hate into full 3-minute tracks. Rougher edges are smoothed by slicker than usual production values and increased mastery of their craft. Single spawn "Take it Off" recaps the bag-him-and-boff-him motif while "Who Invited You" sits comfortably alongside Andrew WK's "Party Hard". Any last vestige of feminine allegiance is jettisoned entirely thanks to the mercenary master plan behind "It's Too Bad About Your Girl".

But it's not all about being hard faced, as a brief peek behind the mask following a gut busting knock-back in "I Don't Care (So There)" makes clear. Still, it doesn't take long before they're back up and running, climaxing - quite literally, I fear - with the joyously mindless "Big Rig". Let's hear what vocalist Donna A has to say about life, the universe and everything:

"I wanna play on your big rig, uh-huh, so lets keep on truckin!" Pedestrians, take note - you have nothing to lose but your underwear.

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