More party-rocking heartbreak from the Shangri-Las of retro-punk

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The Donnas – Gold Medal

If The Ramones had been made up of Avril Lavignes, they would have been The Donnas. Produced by sometime Lavigne sidekick Butch Walker, Gold Medal smooths down a few of the Palo Alto quartet’s rougher edges, but the essential formula is intact: ’70s power-pop pastiche meets revved-up sugar-rush melodies, cynical teen-romance lyrics and knowingly dumb sexual innuendo. Aside from a richer production and heartbroken power ballads like “Revolver”, signs of ‘maturity’ are mercifully absent. They may be shamelessly role-playing their Joan Jett schtick, but The Donnas still out-rock earnest retrobores like Jet and Kings Of Leon.

STEPHEN DALTON