WHEN I WAS 16 YEARS OLD, LIVING in a small town and revving on hormones under the watchful eye of the Catholic church, my girlfriends and I started a group called the Good Time Girls. It was a purely fictional title--the five of us were still virgins and pure of deed, if not thought. Every Wednesday we'd get together before school and smoke cigarettes and listen to the Runaways and Joan Jett and The Pretenders until there was just enough time to jump into Cari's '68 Mustang and haul ass to homeroom before the last bell rang. We got detention every week.

The Donnas are what we could only dream to be. Hailing from snooty Palo Alto, California, the Donna's are four teen-age queens of rock 'n' roll who actually live the life the Good Time Girls could only pretend at. They're brats--smart brats--and they play fucked-up, in-your-face, great rock 'n' roll that owes more of its sound to Kiss than it does to the Runaways. The misguided might find it unbelievable that the Donnas are for real, as the foursome's Pink Ladies packaging would make anyone guess that there was a Kim Fowley (the Runaway's Svengali) working away behind some hidden curtain. But that's absolutely, authentically, not the case.

Oh, they're obsessed with Kiss, that's undeliable. But there's plenty of girl-band influences in the Donnas latest record, Get Skintight, for sure: Bikini Kill, L7, Bratmobile--it's all there. However, you're also going to pick up hints of Mötley Crüe and the Scorpions if you listen hard enough. And you should, because the Donnas aren't having any of that mopey shit, they're not fucking around spinning their wheels and worrying what might come next, or carrying the future of rock on their shoulders, or speaking for a gender or a generation. They are what's next, whether anyone realizes it today, a year from now, or never (they probably wouldn't care). They're having the most fun, making the most noise, and living the most life. They don't need any goddamn cake.

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