The Donnas

From covering Motley Crue’s ‘Too Fast For Love’ back in 1998 to defending the merits of Poison, the Donnas have never secreted their love for Ozone layer-destroying 80s rock. And, although their last couple of albums have seen the girls gradually move away from their punk roots, ‘Bitchin’’ completes the Donnas’ transition to all-out party hard rockers. But have they changed for the better?

Certainly, ‘Bitchin’’ is an improvement on its drab predecessor, ‘The Gold Medal’, and there are plenty of rowdy fist-punching anthems from the vitriolic ‘Girls Talk’ to the Def Leppard meets Hanoi Rocks strut of ‘Save Me’. Hats off to the Donnas for unashamedly rocking out without hiding behind a veneer of irony and for managing to make it through the innuendo-laden lyrics without cracking up.

All good fun, but it all smacks of cliché and does away with much of the charm of their earlier work. ‘Don’t Wait Up For Me’ is Joan Jett’s ‘I Hate Myself For Loving You’ reheated and the rubbish lyrics stop being amusing come ‘Love You Till It Hurts’, which makes even mid-80s Kiss sound thoughtful.

As with all other Donnas albums, ‘Bitchin’’ is best sampled in small doses and its best tracks could easily make up a strong EP. Ultimately, even at its most entertaining, I yearn for the Donnas of old and hope, that next time, they bring back at least some of the punk.

Ross Halewood