The Donts: Inner El Camino

[2 May 2007]

By Jason MacNeil

What a fricking hard name to type! The Don’t’s, er, The Dont’s take the band name as their surnames, Ramones-style, and craft bizarre yet engaging tunes that go against the grain. Whether it’s a quick take like “Hands Inside the Bus” or a fleshed out number like “Blahblahblah”, the band have a minimal side to it that complements the occasional bursts of experimentation. Ranging from rock to pop to splashes of jazz and ambient, the group thrives on challenging the listener. This is exemplified during “I Get Back Up”. The first mainstream pop tune is the light, indie-rock perfect “Plastic We All Are”. From there, the band nails the rather funky, groovy “Throwing It All Away” that sounds like a cross between At the Drive-In and James Brown. Tight and well-executed, the group outdoes itself with the slow-then-fast-then-odd “AKA SOB” and the quirky “Worldview”, which sounds like a cross between the Flaming Lips and the Hold Steady on sedatives. However, they’ve even stretched diehards fans with “Believe?”, which sounds like a spacey homage to the White Stripes.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/the-donts-inner-el-camino/