Year 3, Day 5: Waking the Dogs with the Donots

Year 3, Day 5: Donots – Wake the Dogs

Tracklisting

  1. Wake the Dogs
  2. Into the Grey
  3. Come Away With Me
  4. You’re So Yesterday
  5. Don’t Ever Look Down
  6. Born a Wolf
  7. Control
  8. Solid Gold
  9. You Got It
  10. I Don’t Wanna Wake Up
  11. Chasing the Sky
  12. All You Ever Wanted
  13. Manifesto
  14. So Long (feat. Frank Turner)
  15. My Side of the Street (United States version only)
  16. Going Through the Motions (feat. Frank Turner) (United States version only)

About the Album

Wake the Dogs is the ninth studio album released by German punk band, Donots. It is only the second album of the band to released in the United States of America. In the United States, the album was released through OK!Good Records, whereas it was released through Vertigo Berlin (Universal). The album was released in late April of 2012. The album peaked at number six on the German charts.

Thoughts on the Album

There are few bands I actually get giddy like a schoolgirl about when they release a new album. It could be a greatest hits compilation or B-sides album and I’d still fanboy out. The Donots are one of those bands (with Johnossi, Mando Diao, and Billy Talent being the others). In 2012 when I saw that the Donots were doing a few United States shows in support of their ninth album, Wake the Dogs, I needed to either go or get the album. So I bought the album, only because the band wasn’t performing anywhere near Philadelphia.

Wake the Dogs is a strong effort from the German punk outfit. Since the release of Coma Chameleon, each of the band’s releases have decidedly gotten less hardcore punk and more pop punk or punk rock. Wake the Dogs is a decidedly pop punk effort with a mixture of their old hardcore style and sound mixed in. Despite their sound changing towards more of pop punk, the band’s style has stayed almost the same throughout the now 22 years of the band’s existence.

The album opens with the titular track, Wake the Dogs. The track is a fine one with a catchy melodic hook that stands out amongst some of the other harder or rougher cut tracks. The next track, Into the Grey, is a more symphonic number, but could be, what I think is a very rousing and beautiful piece. The third track, Come Away With Me ventures more in the punk ballad (if that’s not an oxymoron) territory, a la Green Day. It is more of a rock anthem with a huge, catchy, and soaring chorus (see it highlighted below)

Come away with me
While the world’s asleep
Walk from sea to shining sea
Find ourselves a place to be

Highlights: The ninth track, You Got It is a track more in line with the band’s old hardcore style. It is fast paced, fist pumping, blood pumping punk goodness. The chorus is massive, epic, huge, soaring, and catchy… much in the veins of Chumbawumba‘s Tubthumping (see it highlight below).

You gotta stay up with me
Sing out of key
Pissing the night away
If I don’t sleep
Nobody sleeps
Bring on the light of day

Chasing the Sky could have been an epic closer if they didn’t use So Long. It’s another track in the vein of Come Away With Me. Whereas Come Away With Me was a mix of light and symphonic, Chasing the Sky pulls no punches and comes out like a howitzer. The chorus is heavy and catchy, and the track as a hook that will have you singing along and sticking your lighter in the air (or cellphones as the kids these days use). Finally, So Long. This track ventures into a genre combination of folk rock and punk thanks to one Frank Turner. I like it, but I don’t in a way. It’s a little bit too light for me. But it does close the album on a high note.

Conclusion

If I were to rank my favorite Donots albums this one would be number three right after The Long Way Home and Got the NoiseWake the Dogs brings an excellent mix of hardcore punk, mellower indie rock, and crunchy pop punk. This album was more in the vein of their last two releases, but whereas Coma Chameleon was more experimental and The Long Way Home was more symphonic and orchestrated. This one is mixture of both experimental and orchestrated, and fused together with their old hardcore style and sound. Not only do the Donots manage to wake the dogs, but they might even have managed to wake the States with this release.

You can buy the album’s page on OK!Good Record‘s website here! Check out OK!Good Record‘s page on the album here!

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