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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Donnas
Gold Medal
Atlantic Records

Rating: 4/10 ?

March 14, 2005
I don't understand why this is the first time I've heard Gold Medal. It is slightly catchy pop punk with cheesy ass lyrics and instrumentation - a third-grader would identify with it; it's made by girls, it should be all over the radio. It is exactly the kind of generic garbage the Clear Channel stations shovel down our throats in the name of "new rock."

On the 11 tracks that make up Gold Medal, The Donnas play with little to no emotion and crank out what would be throwaway tracks for better girl rock bands (like Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill and The Pretenders.) The record sounds fine, and the songs aren't grating, in all, but Gold Medal is so uninspired, so rarely seducing with a smile, that it's not worth the time or money it took to put it together.

This is the second major label release for The Donnas, following a handful of indie releases and their Atlantic debut, Spend the Night, which got them some attention, but it follows almost the same pattern of their previous work. Simple arrangements, songs that all float around the 3 minute range and feature lots of "hot licks," prehistoric drum beats and stale lyrics. The band is learning to play their instruments better, but they've lost some aggression, which was the key to the little charm they had from the get-go.

Perhaps they can build up a head of steam and pull this stuff off on stage, but the songs themselves aren't going to keep Gold Medal spinning in anyone's CD player if they have any desire to hear music that demands to be paid attention to. Add to this the fact that it won't likely keep people in the bar - those with the sense are going to walk out and find a high school band around the corner that plays the same music, but shows more emotion.

Reviewed by Mike Hammer

See other reviews by Mike Hammer



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