I love working on this site, because I get to hear music that I never would’ve heard before. Donots are a punk rock band from Ibbenburen, Germany, and although they’ve been around for over twenty years, I had never had the pleasure of listening to them before. This year, the band will play their 1,000th show, and have just released their tenth studio album. The album was originally released entirely in German last year under the name Karacho. It climbed to the Top 5 on European album charts, and now they’re releasing it as c in English on March 4th through OK! Good Records.
Today, Manifesto of Sound has the privilege of premiering a track from the upcoming album on our site. The track is called “I Will Deny,” and it’s the first track on the album. You can read Meredith’s review of the album and listen to “I Will Deny” below!
Donots are truly a punk rock rarity. With ¡CARAJO!, the band has managed to hold onto that older, classic punk sound, but the energy, passion, and life that they inject into each track puts a new spin on it that makes it appeal to a new generation of punks. Punk is always at the heart of the album, but the band manages to mix in dance pop, classic rock, reggae, indie rock, and even country influence into ¡CARAJO!, solidifying it as an album that shows off the versatility and musical skill that Donots has.
The album kicks off with “I Will Deny,” which you’re hopefully already listening to by now. Vocalist Ingo Donot has a rough, honest voice that gives this song the feel it has, one of bittersweet hope, and nostalgia. It’s a great anthem to kick off the album, with Donot chanting, “I know just what I do not want, I’ve got myself, I don’t need much.”
The next track, “No Part of It”, is an anti-Nazi song, inspired by the current refugee crisis, but despite the heavy content, the track has a dancy, pop quality and it’s a great sing-along song. The powerful message on this track gets driven home when the phrase, “I WANT NO PART OF IT,” is screamed over and over again.
The lyrics on this album have just as much variety as the instrumentals, covering everything from politics and revolution to love and heartbreak. In “All the Weight of the World,” the band expresses their dislike for the corporate life with the line, “You wear your tie just like a noose,” but show their softer side in “No Matter What” with the chorus line, “I still like you a lot. I still care no matter what.” “Stray Dog” is also one of the best songs on the album, lyrically, and it’s made even more so when we get to see the softer side of Donot’s voice on this one.
There’s a very Eagles-sounding guitar part in “All the Weight of the World” that I dig, but the sound switches rapidly to a reggae, jam band feel on “Problem What Problem”, which is a perfect song to listen to when you’ve had a bad day or a bad week for that matter, with the great, to-the-point line “It’s official, I don’t care any longer.”
“Damage” is one of the most powerhouse songs on the album, more chants than actual singing, with kind of a Beastie Boys/Rage Against the Machine sound. And “I’m On My Back” has that classic skate punk sound with some of my favorite guitar parts on the album.
“No Matter What” shows the softer side of Donots, talking about a dysfunctional relationship that you don’t really wanna let go of. And then the last track, “Camden Station, 1 AM,” really finishes off the album beautifully. This song is so raw in the way it was recorded, with an acoustic guitar, and pure vocals that sound like they were actually recorded in an empty train station. It’s an anthem about being young and happy, and it made me smile. It’s one of those movie-scene-perfect songs. “Let’s miss the train out, we’ll find our own way home.”
I’m so glad I got the opportunity to hear Donots, and I’m going to pick this album up on the 4th when it comes out. You should too. Music that picks you up when you’re down and makes you feel a little less alone is important in this world. So take a cue from Donots and sing along when they say, “I’ll keep my chin up and head held high. My heart beats on.”