Favorite

The Donkeys: Born With Stripes (Dead Oceans) 

California's rich musical history gives San Diego's The Donkeys plenty to draw from, and stylistically, Born With Stripes is a sampler plate, touching on sunny pop, beach rock, slacker alternative, psychedelic jams and alt-country. But the band is tight and talented enough to make it all work, thanks in part to the clear and crisp mix from Thom Monahan and the easygoing charm of drummer/vocalist Sam Sprague.

The album opens with "We Don't Know Who We Are," a love song built around a slinky guitar and only-in-California metaphors like "I'm Redford, you're Newman on the take / you're a 7.6 earthquake." Next is the equally infectious "I Like The Way You Walk," which shifts the sound just a bit toward alt-country.

"Kaleidoscope" is spacey and psychedelic, while "Bloodhound" is reminiscent of Tom Petty's "Breakdown," and "Ceiling Tan" has clear ties to the Grateful Dead. Elsewhere, the band offers the plaintive ballad "Valerie," as well as the sitar-infused instrumentals "West Coast Raga" and "East Coast Raga."

The Donkeys play vintage rock that doesn't sit still in any one style, repeatedly mixing and combining vintages—enthusiastically, if not always seamlessly. After a few listens, a distinct personality emerges from that long string of influences.

The title Born With Stripes hints at what makes it all work so well: The Donkeys is a band that's comfortable in its own skin, or rather, its own multi-hued stripes.

Related Locations

More by Eric Swedlund

  • Back to the Well

    XIXA draws on mystic desert energy for “Tombstone Rashomon,” the first of a new batch of tunes
    • Jul 19, 2018
  • A Band Reborn

    Larry and His Flask return from a five-year hiatus refocused on what the band does best
    • Jun 7, 2018
  • A Record of Many Colors

    Carlos Arzate branches out in different sonic directions on the adventurous Camaleón
    • Apr 5, 2018
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Salsa, Tequila & Tacos Take Over Tucson

Four Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Thursday, August 16

Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Wednesday, August 15

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

Facebook Activity

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation