Famously formed in 8th grade for a school talent show, The Donnas began as a self-styled co-ed answer to The Ramones, each taking the first name of Donna (as opposed to the last name of Ramone), and playing gleefully unapologetic, pop-punk paeans to adolescent alienation and hedonism from a decidedly female perspective. But by the time of 2004’s Gold Medal, their sixth album and second for the major label Atlantic, the group has clearly—dare we say it?--matured. With the notable exception of the single (and career highlight) “Fall Behind Me,” Gold Medal marks a move away from the Donnas’ harder/faster ethos towards a more polished (acoustic guitars...whaaat?) pop sound veering towards ‘70s psychedelia under the helm of Avril Lavigne producer Butch Walker. And you can tell it from the album’s graphics, which flash vintage, Peter Max-esque squiggles on the front cover and feature a faux black light poster inside (which we have reproduced for this reissue along with the original printed inner sleeve). The result was an album that lead vocalist Brett Anderson a.k.a Donna A. deems her favourite, and one that stands as probably the band’s crowning artistic achievement.
RIYL: L7, Bikini Kill, Courtney Love
5. Is That All You’ve Got for Me
6. It’s So Hard
7. The Gold Medal
8. Out of My Hands
9. It Takes One to Know One
11. Have You No Pride