'The Bass Instinct Lines May Be Gender-Biased'
'They may have their moments of weakness, but they are NOT your average toilet slaves. For most of their albums, they struggle with that invisible phallomania that their culture brought them up with. And where would they turn, or be turned, for better examples? Well, the guitar riffs never accomplish the transition from punkabilly-rock to the slick,big-hair glam of Vixen or Lita F., so a regular listener has to ask the perennial question, 'Wassup?' Don't they practice their Carcassi? Did they never hear of the Paradiddle or Ratamacue? So you've gotta love these gyrlles for their musical,. . and lyrical, voabulary.
And then, when you think that you've labelled them as being confirmed. 'Antidisiestablishmentarianists', you realize that, 'Hey. they're actually getting BETTER.' Yes, listening to their various compilations, there are those undeniable indications of technical improvement on the part of every instrument. Well, possibly with exception of the vocals;. . another fact that must be contributing to their staying power. They still have most of their original, original vocal stylizing. That could have been slicked up, they could have gotten jazzy, they could have done the hipster, trendoid sound. But they didn't. They're Rock steady at their genre. So don't get thinking that they'll do some Ashley Simpson, Meredith Brooks or Karen Black. They are stuck on being white trash, garage-punk, rockabytches. Even with some revisions of the group's personnel; they had to substitute a bassist at a concert a year ago.
But some aspects of the instruments go deeper than attitude. Some phrasings of guitar or drums are plain muscle-recognition; they are polishing their chops, as the dude says. So, like or not, the possibles are occasionally there.
Although they stubbornly resist. So they have chosen not only to keep their representational profile, they also occasionally sound as though they're getting stifled or gagged. Better that, than to SUCCUMB, most likely. For neither could they ever get as really hard-core as The Smears, so again, they present themselves as having that certain sort of artistic integrity, . . or perhaps consistency would be the word of choice there. And they do not either seem to want to have any direction as solo performers, as other groups have done. But that's also a possible plus when considering the compromising positions that some soloists have endured.
So with their unfailing consistency as iconic musical images, the weak side,. . you know, where you are getting that 'bigger-than-life', power-tripping cultural profile,. . .has to lay with their native culture. Because though other less consistent groups and less-enduring talent have continued on with film careers, soundtracks, product lines and endorsements, The Donnas have not. No toothpaste ads with X, no guest modelling for Victoria Secret, no soundtracks to a major film and no collaboration with their local philharmonic. Because they are not compromising themselves to the male-oriented, phallomanic culture,they are profiled as the perpetual rebs 'n debs. If their hard-on culture could accept their version of 'Slap And Tickle', the girls could be a lot further along. But there's that stale-mate there, as there's with every album, cd and compilation that they've done.
Except that these days, after hearing their most recent re-interpretation of their repertoire, there may that feeling that their poseable figures could be on the shelf.'Read full review