The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

The Donkeys: Born with stripes (2011)

La sensación que queda tras escuchar detenidamente este Born with stripes de los angelinos The Donkeys es la de un cierto Deja-Vu sobre diversas músicas que previamente ya has oído pero que por una u otra razón, no has terminado de encajar o de encuadrar convenientemente en tu subconsciente. Sin ser un mal disco, sí que es una obra que transcurre demasiado parsimoniosamente, bastante alejada, eso sí, de cualquier patrón de moda impuesto. Un álbum de Indie-Rock un tanto previsible que transcurre por esos cánones mencionados, salvo por tres o cuatro pildorazos donde el sonido de Garaje y la Psicodelia se hacen con los mandos sonoros. West coast raga y East coast raga, que son como las dos caras de una misma moneda, como el Ying y el Yang de Born with stripes. Dos temazos instrumentales donde el sitar y la sonoridad Psicodélica y ácida son los protagonistas absolutos. Ceiling tan es algo así como un Ragga-Rock al estilo de la Costa Oeste de los años sesenta, como lo hubieran hecho unos Lovin´Spoonful, un tema de largo recorrido instrumental. Algo semejante sucede con Blue stockings, un corte que nos recuerda horrores al sonido del San Francisco de los años sesenta, y que como tal homenaje-tributo-rendición debe quedar. Un disco que no pasará a los anales de la historia de la música, pero que nos deja algunos momentos memorables.

The Donkeys – Born with stripes (2011)

“Like The Donkeys did, when they decided to start playing tunes like their dads were most probably spinning back in the day. I like that; there’s some romanticism in their snug adoption of those musical tropes, and I’m glad they’re not manipulating woodland sounds and releasing on limited run C90, ’cause that’s not what rock’n’roll folk are about. And sure, there are more contemporary influences to be found hiding in nooks and crannies (Pavement, Modest Mouse, Elliott Smith, Sparklehorse, Spoon, Deer Tick, all that crowd), but each element is stripped of any hint of studiousness. Born With Stripes is a springy, psych-rocking compendium of dust-coated Sixties radio highway hits, booming out a convertible Chevy as it cruises across the AZ/CA border.
Much like a larksome cross country road trip, there is the odd occasion where you wish it would hurry up and get to its destination. ’Kaleidoscope’ is a drag of a psych meander, which, four minutes in, will have you wishing it gave up five minutes ago, and when it suddenly cuts out after what seems like a lifetime of “Jupiter’s on the right”s (eh?), you’d be forgiven for failing to disguise a sigh of relief.
But the delightful marginally outweighs the dull. Opener ’Don’t Know Who We Are’ in particular strikes a mellow chord while creating the impression it really doesn’t care whether you’re listening or not. “I’m a cartoon, you’re a book”, says singing drummer Sam Sprague, in a sort of self-deprecating under-the-covers lovesong/lullaby, over a curious, loping guitar line – before smoothly slipping a casual “Give it to me now” in before the chorus strikes. ’I Like The Way You Walk’ picks up the pace a little, repping some inherently piffly lyrical sentiment – “I like the way that you talk / And all the things that you do / You do like honeydew / Those bees are all round you” – that rings honest and sweet, rather than grating.
If you were one of those to be found chinwagging about Lost during fag breaks the last few years, you might recognise The Donkeys as fictional Seventies rockers Geronimo Jackson. (You see, they wanted you to think Geronimo Jackson had some big significance to the storyline, but it was actually just a few California chancers about to see more royalty dollar than the accumulative sales of their debut album hauled in….) It wouldn’t require a great stretch of the imagination to accept that The Donkeys are reformed old hands from that bygone era, and they play the part like purely professional method actors, with frequent success.
Just another chilled, spaghetti western-atmospheric SoCal indie rock venture then? Glad to hear it, keep ’em coming” (

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22 junio, 2011 Posted by | The Donkeys | 1 comentario


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