Donots - Coma Chameleon (Cover Artwork)

Donots

Donots: Coma Chameleon

Coma Chameleon (2008)

Solitary Man


4.5
The story of German punk rockers Donots is an interesting one, and I am going to tell it, since I bet most people who are going to read this do not know a lot. After a self-released debut album and some demos, the band quickly gets signed to Burning Heart Records and to a major label in their own co...

The story of German punk rockers Donots is an interesting one, and I am going to tell it, since I bet most people who are going to read this do not know a lot. After a self-released debut album and some demos, the band quickly gets signed to Burning Heart Records and to a major label in their own country. After releasing such amazing albums as Pocket Rock and Amplify the Good Times, where they played with Midtown, and after a split with Anti-Flag and appearance on Rock Against Bush Vol. 2, Donots released their most rock and roll-influenced record, Got the Noise, recorded almost completely in one live take. Then they signed out of their contract with the major label and started releasing their shit all by themselves, on the label by Ingo (singer), Solitary Man Records. And now we have Coma Chameleon.

The new album -- you could see it from the cover artwork -- is skinny, dark, thin, fast, and I'd dare to say, the most original rock album I've heard in quite a bit. Different from their previous works, the band has stopped playing catchy sing-along pop-punk choruses, as they keep on evolving and revolving their sound, with an intense attention to the lyrics and the composition. Ingo's lyrics are totally genius, and his voice stresses the rock guitars -- not the contrary.

The songs develop as a floating stream, and from the first single "Break My Stride" you reach the climax with the second one, "Stop the Clocks," the first being a rock anthem and the latter being a semi-ballad, possibly influenced by Depeche Mode. In the middle and afterwards you find the punk rock of "Pick Up the Pieces" and the almost hip-hop experiments of "Headphones," with a strong electric beat that makes the whole tune very catchy. "New Hope for the Dead" is probbaly what represents Donots the best at the moment: a fast-paced anthem that will make you sweat a lot, but with a very unique attention to the details, from the band's very own musical skills of mixing electric and electronic elements to the very original structure, like a circle entering another circle.

"Killing Time" is probably my favorite song, with a very raw guitar intro and the drums that start soon after that, with a pumping rhythm that comes in as the bass and whole band starts to enter into the song. The album (depending on which version you will buy, but I will talk about the basic version) ends with "Somewhere Someday," a slow-drumming and acoustic guitar-driven song that explodes in the chorus. Lyrically, the band deals a lot with very personal and deep feelings, but at the same time, their lyrics are so "universal" that everyone could relate to them in a original way.

So far, I think Coma Chameleon is the best rock album I heard in 2008, because you cannot label it and because it stands for a lifestyle made of do-it-yourself ethics (the band produced it, sells it, promotes it, and this is the future I guess), made of sweating rock and roll anthems and fast thrills.