Picks and Pans Review: The Donnas Turn 21

UPDATED 02/12/2001 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 02/12/2001 at 01:00 AM EST

The Donnas (Lookout!)

Album of the week

Now that they've reached their majority, the former teen rockers have toned down the amps, opted for an easy-listening sound and filled their new CD with earnest ballads extolling the virtues of home, hearth and motherhood. Yeah, right. The anti-heroine that the Donnas (singer-lyricist Donna A., guitarist Donna R., bassist Donna F. and drummer Donna C.) portray in song is a guitar-slinging, beer-swigging, stock-cars-and-pinball-loving rock and roll party chick who has never met a boy worthy of more than a one-night stand. As prodigious and boastful a lover as any gangsta rapper, she brags of bedding "40 Boys in 40 Nights (I don't have time to see the sights)." "You're in my face," she snarls at a rival (in "Hot Pants"), "and I wanna break your nose." These 13 tunes (all originals except for a cover of Judas Priest's "Living After Midnight") are chock-full of such throwaway lines ("He ditched me at the Mini-Mart") and dry zingers ("Little boy little boy/ Find some other girl to annoy"). The band's sound is proudly derivative—you can almost see the Kiss and AC/DC posters on the walls of the San Francisco Bay-area garage from which the group sprang. But the Donnas are no less original than the boy band to which they're most often compared: the Ramones.

Bottom Line: Energy, irony, attitude galore

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