Donots- The Long Way Home

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, June 19, 2011

German pop punk band Donots has eight albums under their belt, but chances are that North American listeners may not have been exposed to the group just yet. They’ve been fairly successful over the years, and have been steadily heading more in the direction of atmospheric pop rock while still including some of their pop punk roots. Their ninth full length The Long Way Home has continued this transformation, and while it doesn’t seem likely that they will ever go back to their slightly rawer punk roots that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as there are a lot of great hooks on this album.

From what I’ve heard of the group’s previous material, they were a pop punk act that had the traditional fast paced/mid tempo tracks and plenty of emphasis on melody. Their newer work has taken further steps towards pop and atmosphere, as there are only a handful of songs (not including the bonus tracks) that have that punk edge to them. However, despite the transformation this doesn’t mean that Donots has lost what made them so memorable in the first place. In place of some of the punchy guitar hooks are now expansive melodies that twist and turn over the course of each song and not only grab your attention but keeps it there until they have come to an end. The six bonus tracks come from 2008’s Coma Chameleon and are a nice inclusion for newcomers as it gives them an idea of where the band has come from then to now.

The vocals sound like a combination of pop punk and 90’s alternative rock, as they are very melodic but are slightly spacier and laid back than what was typical of pop punk from that time period. There are a number of different bands that listeners are sure to be reminded of, but no matter which groups are brought to mind chances are that they will be ones that you are fond of. What I found interesting about Donots was that even though they are a German band, their accents are not heavy at all and if you didn’t know better you might think that they were from the United States or Canada. Overall, the performances are quite enjoyable and will help to attract listeners to the material.

Much of their punk side may be behind them, but Donots has found a newer style that works just as well for them. I’d classify their current material as alternative/atmospheric pop rock with an occasional punk edge to it, and that description should give you a pretty good idea of whether this will be something you’ll enjoy or not. But if you do think it is something that fits your taste The Long Way Home comes highly recommended, as it has plenty of memorable tunes.

Full Disclosure: Review copy provided by Chorus of One Records

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