Donaher - I Swear My Love Is True (Cover Artwork)


I Swear My Love Is True (2017)

Dodgeball Records

Donaher is a 4-piece band from New Hampshire. The band is led by song writer and vocalist Nick Lavallee, rounded out by lead guitarist Tristan Omand, Adam Wood on the bass, and drummer Lee Sevigny.  Upon first listen, it is very easy to compare the band to Weezer, which isn't a bad thing, but the album with continued listens certainly reveals some deeper layers of equal parts 90's alternative and early 00's pop punk.  With hooks and choruses that will stick for days, solos that soar right before the last chorus hits, and lyrics that name check Orange Julius, Diet Coke, high school principals and more, this album could have easily been Blue Album part two.  In no song is that more apparent than "Wrong Side of Webster Street".  When Nick sings about his heart of gold and denim jacket, pretend its not 1995 and try harder not to pretend Rivers Cuomo singing it.

The album itself leads with an acoustic room demo, and then kicks in (literally, kick drum to snare) to first song Heather.  This was the first song the band released on a highly limited edition 7 inch, and is a great introduction to the band.  Following is the infinitely catchy "Mandy Desmaris (Call Me Soon)", which has an almost call and response chorus to it.  The A-side to the album is chock full of Weezer influence, full of polish from producer Gary Cioffi (Transit, A Will Away).

Breaking up the album is another acoustic song called Courtney, which could easily pass for Billy Joe Armstrong if I wasn't paying attention, and leads us to the 2nd half of the record, where subtle influences lie.  Harmonies on the song "Count on Me" are straight out of the Alkaline Trio handbook.  "No Other Dude" could have been on and early 2000 Get Up Kids Release, and with good reason, as Matt Pryor is featured on the track.  The 2nd half of the record may not be as happy sounding as the first half, and that is fine.  The second half reads and feels like a relationship, taking the listener on a ride from falling in love, to ending, accepting, and finding hope for the future.