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Donots
The Long Way Home
Ok! Good Records
www.donots.com


Here's what first dragged me into this album: an opening sequence so anthemic that it could easily sit next to Angel And Airwaves. But when your band name is Donots, most people aren't going to expect a booking at a stadium or equivalent. However, after listening to the rest of their album The Long Way Home, I'm not quite ready to write them off of a stadium tour, yet.

So let's go back to that opening song, it goes by the title "Changes". Huge strums drawn out for extra emphasis, a chorus of gut-produced rock vocals and a basic percussion beat to hold it all together. Instantly you're on their side, without needing to listen to the rest of the album. Switching genres you get "Let It Go" with its folk strings and happy-go-lucky rhythmic chords. No frills lyrics make it so the melody gets front-in-center for attention, while at the same time having enough conviction and emotion that most fans will find it hard to not sing along.

With 17 songs all averaging about three minutes, you've got a lot to choose from, not to mention a lot of chances to find something you fancy. Personally, I've got a soft spot for the acoustic side of life and thus another song that pokes out for me is "The Years Gone By". We're back to a sentiment that everything's going to be alright - as long as you're listening to this song, that is. When a harmonica shows up and choirboy harmonies round everything off, a smile is going to be hard to ignore.

For fans of My Chemical Romance, take a listen to "Break My Stride". Anger comes out heavy in fury-fast punk guitars and the screw-you-all vocals. There is just a hint of melody, but it's just small enough to be heard and forgotten. Besides you're supposed to be rocking your face off. Near the end of the album you'll find "Stop The Clocks" with its set of backing chords that have a slightly somber, yet still dancey groove to them. When voices combine the result is almost beautiful. A foot tap is needed to keep the song going - metaphorically. Actually though, it's a post-pop, semi-Beach House-ish sway that maintains the energy of the song.

Were 17 songs necessary? Probably not. But if this is your first introduction to Donots, like it was mine, seventeen is just the right amount to find some sounds that you're sure to like.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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