7/6/08: The Donkeys

The Donkeys
Dead Oceans Records
Release Date: September 9, 2008
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Sounds like: Dusty folk-pop with a sunny and skewed Southern California twist

Even with a tepidly mediocre name, this San Diego quartet relishes warm-hearted layers of feel-good summer haze on sophomore album Living On The Other Side. Sounding like a more laid back The Eagles or a more stoned and rock-centric The Beach Boys, The Donkeys piece together groovy organs, bittersweet vocal harmonies, and bristling electric guitars on the languishing "Dolphin Center" before going the unassumingly organic route on the rustic breeziness of "Traverse Wine." A little mod revival/ acid pop weirdness teams up with ironic hipster lyrics on "Nice Train," while a sprinkle of pyschedelic sitars and flutes makes "Dreamin'" stick out. The retro-sounding, completely unartifical "Excelsior Lady" smacks of 1971, but a telling line from the weepy country-blues "Boot On The Seat" sums up The Donkeys' whole country-love-pot-n-sunshine- trip: "Call me sentimental/I love things that are old/I'm just young and grateful/That I've had hands to hold."

Myspace: www.myspace.com/thedonkeys
Label: www.deadoceans.com/artist.php?name=donkeys
"Walk Through A Cloud" mp3

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