The Donnas: San Francisco Fillmore

The Donnas turn 21 with new record - hey! - 'Turn 21', and they wanna shout about it...

The Donnas are 21, which means that they can not only buy a drink, but write songs about it as well. To celebrate the burning of their fake IDs and the release of their fourth album, 'Turn 21', the girls are playing a hometown show to a mixed crowd of family, friends and people who still mourn the slaying of '80s hair-metal and know that Oranjeboom rhymes with "in my room".

It's their biggest gig so far and a chance to prove the doubters wrong. Their

place in history may be secured by the cover shot of 'American Teenage Rock'n'Roll Machine', but they want to be taken seriously. Not just as three-chords-and-the-truth-about-boys novelty guitar chicks, but as rock legends mentioned in the same breath as their heroes, Poison and Motley Crue.

'Turn 21' is easily their best album - you can actually tell some of the tunes apart, and the best one gets the show started right. 'Are You Gonna Move Me?' breezes along on a nicely clipped bass line and the lyrics are another sign that The Donnas are all grown up - they've written their first song about how horrid it is to get a bad review. And unlike the new Stereophonics single 'Mr. Writer', it's more loveable than lame.

The rest of the new songs all seem to be about how everyone wants to shag them, but they aren't having any of it. They might let you unload their gear ('40 Boys In 40 Nights') but that's about it. 'You've Got A Crush On Me' ("And you tried to play it cool/That's hard to do/When you're wiping off your drool") and 'Little Boy' address similar matters. A water cannon at the dressing room door should do the trick there, girls.

This album's comedy cover is Judas Priest's 'Livin' After Midnight' and it goes down a storm with older denim wearers, despite not being half as funny as that REO Speedwagon one they used to do. It's a fairly subdued crowd, however, as singer Donna A notices to her annoyance. The last song 'Huff All Night', from the first album, would seem to be appropriate, but we're fairly sure that it's about something else entirely.

Andy Wilkinson

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