Bands who recorded ten records without progressing are without a doubt a fantastic thing, hands down. There are indeed some bands you just don‘t want to change. Motörhead, AC/DC, the Ramones, Bad Religion are some of them. Brilliant.
In this particular case, however, it is completely different. The Donots are unwilling to settle back and to rely on the tried and trusted. Instead they decided to experiment and research, to push boundaries and weigh up extremes.
And why is that? Because it is important. Because it is RIGHT to do so. Happiness or the pursuit of it can only be found in challenge, not in the reproduction of standards. There‘s one aspect of this feeling which becomes very clear now, despite the band’s history of as long as 16 years: The Donots are not just a friends meeting up for a jam. The same blood is running in this band.
Ingo and Guido Knollmann are brothers. Brothers, who couldn‘t be more different but at the same time perfectly match and complement each other. Ing and Yang, so to speak.
It stands to reason that this very aspect became the focus of the latest, eighth album with the telling title “The Long Way Home.” Unintentionally, but still obvious. Street punk with dirty fingernails meets melancholic sophisticate. They are related by blood. That‘s not just an empty phrase. You can actually hear and feel it. The major part of song ideas comes from Guido, while Ingo delivers the lyrical and vocal equivalent. However sometimes it was the other way round - and still, it works just fine: All of a sudden Guido sings. Not only that, but he sings his own lyrics.
It‘s the two brothers who are exposed on the new record “The Long Way Home.” They are the driving force. They didn‘t need to look out for each other, now they found each other once and for all. This is what sets the Donots apart from other bands. It‘s family!
Nevertheless, this should not a bit lessen the other Donots’ impact. In eleven songs and about 37 minutes, the record displays a band who has arrived, is resting within and who is bursting with confidence. Also the fact that they recorded this album with producer Vincent Sorg is a reminiscence, a step on the way home. Already in 1998, itwas this team (and also this very place, the Principal Studios near Münster), which assembled the start of their career with “Tonight‘s Karaoke Contest Winners” under own direction. The fact that Sorg too comes from Ibbenbüren and that he produced the most recent successful record “In aller Stille” from Die Toten Hosen - let‘s call it destiny.
“The Long Way Home” is brimming with finesse, unusual ideas, real hymns and the enjoyment of stylistic experimentation. There’s a lot to be discovered. Many details reveal themselves only after a few plays but are sure to put a smile on your face. This can be a little melody, additional vocals, a sound - or the mere matter-of-courseness of using instruments foreign to the genre. Strings, accordion, tuba, mandolin, double-bass, piano, Guido’s glasses: It’s all in there. In addition to that, there’s a fantastic cover artwork with obsessive attention to detail. Therefore this is a consistent overall concept. If you haven’t understood yet that taking “The Long Way
Home” is absolutely worth the travel, you’re far away from home. Says Ingo: “The Long Way Home” is also the decision to take a detour when you leave a party drunk, with great music in your ear, just because it feels right in the moment.” Any questions left?
Fair enough – there’s the perpetual question of musical influences. It has always been punk, rock, metal, hardcore, ‘80s new wave, singer/songwriter, country, folk and obscurities, but the priorities have shifted. If you have grown up with and in the ‘80s and you’ve fallen in love with the likes of New Order, The Smiths and Depeche Mode, then new wave, dance rhythms and cool melancholy are bound to become second nature to you - and an album like “The Long Way Home.”
The way back home. Back to the roots. And we ain’t talking about stuff like Eurodance, casting show “bands” and trends of the scene here. This is all about authentic bands, the real deal - and sometimes that‘s just a man with his guitar.
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