The Donnas have never denied the debt that they owe to the Ramones, and with each successive album and tour, the California girls reinforce that debt by playing louder, brattier, and smarter than ever before. The punky quartet is riding high after the recent release of its excellent fourth album, The Donnas Turn 21
, which is translating into crowd-frenzied, high-energy live sets from the foursome. Although it seems counterintuitive to point out, The Donnas Turn 21
is easily the band's most mature work to date, but don't mistake that maturity for some kind of lofty and esoteric attempt to reinvent the band. The Donnas' growth has been forged on the road and in the studio over the past three years, and the improvements in their timing, execution, and songwriting have not come at the expense of their energy, volume, or attitude. Our little girls are growing up, but they're kicking some serious ass on the long walk to adulthood. The Donnas Turn 21
is the album that the group has been bashing toward since '98's gritty and raw American Teenage Rock 'n' Roll Machine
, and this is the tour that will show the world just how far the band has come in the past three years. The girls in the Donnas may have gotten their licenses long ago, but this is the year they really learn how to drive.