Album review: Donny Love | Sensation

Gold Coast oddball sensations and underground scene stalwarts Donny Love are a band not afraid to carve out their own, idiosyncratic space within the local musical landscape. Forgoing the currently fashionable when it comes to aural conventions, the local five piece deliver a joyous snapshot into their unique worldview with their smashing debut album, ‘Sensation’.

Recorded and mixed by Julian Abbott at No Wave Studio and mastered by Paul Blakey, ‘Sensation’ is the sound of a band who know how to carve out a memorable tune, and their use of dynamics and upliftingly shifting brass and keyboard arrangements ensure that ‘Sensation’ is a record that keeps giving upon repeated listens.

Opening track, ‘No Sense’, is a bouncy, garage-pop nugget while ‘Never Comin’ Back’ delivers a more frantic pace with keyboards in turns punchy and shimmering melded with vocals of pleading desperation.

A notably strong horn driven, soul influence infiltrates throughout many of the album’s ten tracks. ‘Death’, is a brass driven smiler that builds to a rousing climax, sounding not 100 miles removed from early Dexys Midnight Runners at the time of their cracking debut, ‘Searching for The Young Soul Rebels.’  It’s a naggingly catchy ear worm of the highest order.

Earlier single, ‘Dysfunctional Lovers’ is cut form a similar cloth, swooning and swaying to the jaunty sounds of tinkling keyboards conjugating with horns both subtle and punchy, approximating early 80’s mod-soul to pleasing effect.

Meanwhile ‘Esplanade’ invokes somewhat of the haunted dancehall vibe of The Specials ‘Ghost Town’, before picking up pace across its latter half with trilling keys and wide ranging vocals.

While epic closing number, ‘Sensation’, perfectly encapsulates the Donny Love ethos of catchy sonic exploration, the track jumping jauntily out of the blocks, twisting and turning, building momentum with a sublime horn crescendo half way through before rising into a dramatic, yelping rave up.

If you’re looking for the Young Soul Rebels, you will find them within these Sensation-packed grooves.

Catch Donny Love with Lotus Ship, Lens and DJ Delphi Plaza on 8 June at elsewhere for the local show of their album tour.

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