Somebody called the bouncer and get this guy off the stage
He wrote his number on his boxers
but he’s three times my age
In my quieter hours I worry about things, politics, the environment, globalisation, whether it’s morally right that I catalogue bands whose names begin with a number (e.g – 808 State) in the equivalent alphabetical bit of my collection (continuing e.g – under E) and also that my records are mostly all by men. Is this incipient sexism on my part? should I deliberately go out and buy some chick records? would that constitute tokenism? who’s counting anyway – it’s a record collection not the freaking Smithsonian?! Is it because ladies don’t rock hard enough for me? of course not – my Babes in Toyland, PJ Harvey, Huggy Bear, Bikini Kill LPs say otherwise. Do mixed bands like Sonic Youth, Raging Slab or White Zombie count? should I waste my intellectual powers on weightier matters? But anyway (turns lights down low) here’s a 1537 for the ladies …
Donnas Turn 21; a brilliant record from a band I first heard about courtesy of the excellent book ‘Fargo Rock City’ by Chuck Klosterman (which any small-town metaller should read*) and so feeling flush back in May 2004 I mail-ordered Turn 21 and Get Skintight from the US. Talk about hitting paydirt!
The opening track ‘Are You Gonna Move it For me’ is 2:31 of pure perfection, snotty attitude, execution and groove – it’s the most played song of mine on I-tunes by far. We’re straight back to the 80’s but in a really good way. ‘Do You Wanna Hit it’, just revs things up even further, it really is 80’s glam filtered through a punk filter done way better than anyone else I know who has tried it. Donna R really writes and plays a mean, mean riff, a far cooler CC DeVille. Joint personal fave ’40 Boys in 40 Nights’ is up next, a tale of the joys of touring and collecting groupies’ underwear as trophies. They also let rip with a mean cover of Judas Priest’s ‘Living After Midnight’, which I prefer to the original, which really shows the rhythm section off to perfection, take a bow Donnas F and C.
It just rocks on from there, there’s always been something of the playground in Donna A’s vocals and she taunts, hollers and purrs throughout, but the stinging put down of ‘Hot pants’ is my fave,
Hey little girl you’re tryin to get with my guy
I’ve got two words hands off or baby I’ll make you cry
I don’t pull hair and I don’t fight dirty
But piss me off at 9 and you’re lunchmeat by 9:30
Genius, as far as I’m concerned, beats Dylan all ends up. Your enjoyment of this LP is going to be pretty contingent on how much a secret part of you still really loves all those Sunset Strip tunes from the 80’s, I do and I love this. Okay the songwriting isn’t universally brilliant and (this is a criticism I have of all their LPs) there are a good fist of great tracks and a few place-holders, but with the longest of their original songs lasting 3:02 it doesn’t matter much anyway, the pace pulls you through the odd dip. I never could resist a band who used the band name as surnames anyway.
‘But 1537’, I hear you say, ‘spokesman for a generation and all round righteous guy, 4 hot young chicks playing cock rock, singing almost exclusively about the reproductive act, are your motives for liking this LP pure?’
To which, my inquisitive inquisitor, I would answer that this is a great LP and stunning though the Donnas may be, it’s entirely irrelevant to how hard this beauty rocks. If you came to Turn 21 (or the rest of their catalogue, for that matter) for novelty value, or more prurient reasons, then I guarantee that you might enter to mock, but you’d definately stay to rock. It’s a done deal and my unsung love for Donna C is testament to that (sighs).
Get this LP if you fancy a shot of fun in your life, or not if you don’t, obviously. It really is your call.
Next up, four miserable looking men with guitars, probably.
*it’s much, MUCH, better than this, stop wasting time here and buy it now dude.