The story of German punk rockers The 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. Briefly, after a self released debut album and some demos, the band 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 song with Anti-Flag and an appearence on Rock Against Bush Vol.2, Dontos released their most rock and rolling influenced record "Got The Noise"; recorded almost in a live take. Then they signed out of their contract with the major label and started releasing their shit all by themselves, on Ingo(singer)\' s own record label, Solitary Man Records. Here it comes "Coma Chameleon".
The new album - you could say it from the cover artwork - is skinny, dark, thin, fast and I\' d dare to say, it\' s the most original rock album I heard in quite a bit. Differently from their previous works, the band stops playing catchy sing along pop punk choruses, as they keep on evoling and revolving their sound, with an intense attention for 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, the latter being a semi ballad, almost influenced by Depeche Mode. In the middle and after 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 packed anthem that will make you sweat a lot, but with a very unique attention for the details, from the band\' s very own musical skills of mixing electric and electronic elements, to the very original structure that is like a circle entering another circle. "Killing Time" is probbaly 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 songs 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.