The Donnas Gold Medal

After their breakout record, Spend The Night, in 2002, the Donnas were faced with a couple of setbacks after an extensive follow-up tour. Not only were singer Brett Anderson’s vocal chords in need of some serious rest, but drummer Torry Castellano was diagnosed with tendonitis. As the band recovered, the reality of having been together for a decade was setting in, and the girls wanted to take their next album to a new direction and grow out of the Ramones mimicry they’d been honing since high school. Gold Medal is the Donnas "grown up” album. Produced by Butch Walker (Avril Lavigne), it gives off a clean, pop-studded sound, but falls a little flat compared to the band’s past efforts. The Donnas’ attitude doesn’t come through so much this time around, and their sound comes across as interchangeable. Though some tracks stand out, like the dramatic "Revolver,” much of the album blurs together. With Gold Medal, the Donnas will likely lose a few fans, but the album might have enough appeal to reach out to a crowd that can appreciate some softer edges. (Atlantic)