Donkeys – Born With Stripes

January 01, 1970

(Dead Oceans)

 

www.deadoceans.com

 

With an album title alluding to the things we cannot change, the
question with this excellent new LP from The Donkeys is – why the hell would
you want it to? In the case of the title track, a short shot of garage mod ala
the Easybeats, the unchangeable issue is, in a nutshell, that boys will be boys
and chase girls. But the irony is that the Donkeys’ musical stripes have
changed considerably – and definitely for the better — on their second record
for Dead Oceans, while remaining resolutely true to their Cali roots.

 

Not that the San Diego quartet’s laid-back twang on 2008’s Living On the Other Side was bad, just
rather that it pales compared to the band’s broader palette and tighter
songwriting on these 12 tracks. Here, they trade in a lot of the American Beauty-era stoner country for a
richer blend that includes the hypnotic repetition of Loaded-era Velvets (“Don’t Know Who We Are”); Byrds and Buffalo
Springfield psychedelic folk rock (“Kaleidoscope”); Morrison Hotel Doors darkness (“New Blue Stocking”) and Creedence
riffing (“Ceiling Tan”). They then bend some of it through the more current song
structures of folks like Pavement (“I Like the Way You Walk”), Luna (the
central riff from “Ceiling Tan”), and Sea
Change
-Beck (“Valerie”), and the result is a classic, era-spanning feel, a
fresh new set of songs that sound like they’ve been on the turntable for 40
years.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Oxblood” “Don’t
Know Who We Are” “Ceiling Tan” JOHN SCHACHT

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