Brimming with fresh pop color but as strong a rock n’ roll force as one would expect them to be, the powerhouse guitar parts found in The Inoculated Canaries’ new single “Donna” are laced with adrenaline and spiked with just a dash of polished swing as to get anyone listening on their feet in seconds. “Donna” sees The Inoculated Canaries delivering more of their trademark grooves, amped-up riffage and unwaveringly physical rock intensity while capitalizing on the harmony-based sound of their last few releases, among which this stands out as not only the catchiest, but the most endearing as well.
The music video for “Donna” has a pop sensibility in line with its soundtrack, but I think it would be worth pointing out that there’s not a lot of gloss on its visuals. The melodies are always the main focus for this band, and while the video for “Sneakers” and this most recent offering flirt with cinematic elements, there’s a big difference between the defiantly indie look that they’re going for in this instance and the artificial substance of something that a mainstream alternative rock group would have went with on this occasion.
Of all the harmonies that this song includes, I think that the cathartic release of the chorus provides us with the most searing of the lot. It’s a commanding moment for our singer, and better yet, the band propping up his every verse with a rebellious, lurching melody. The vocal dominates the mix in this juncture of the track, but it’s a necessary evil to accomplish what makes “Donna” the smashing number that it ultimately is – sonic fluidity. There is no rigidity to “Donna;” instead, this is probably one of the more seamless tunes The Inoculated Canaries have recorded thus far in their career together.
I would have liked just a little more bass in the buildup to the chorus, but I suppose that I can understand why they wanted to limit the presence of low-end tones here. With a pulsating drumbeat as big and brash as the one in “Donna” is, I can see where it’d be somewhat prudent to modulate the frontend of the mix with lighter string parts instead of a thick, heavy bassline. It’s not something that many of their peers have tried lately, which in and of itself makes this latest cut from The Inoculated Canaries an interesting listen in 2019.
Though this was not my first time reviewing their work, I think that “Donna” has made me a lot more excited about what could potentially accomplish in the next couple of years, provided they stay on the right course moving forward. They’ve got a couple of kinks in their sound that are relatively simple to remedy, and they’re by and large one of the few rock groups I’m following that doesn’t blatantly worship someone from the past. “Donna” is a continuation of an already exciting story for these guys, and with any luck, it will usher in the New Year for their band with as much success as they saw entering 2019 alongside the “Who are you?” single.