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Donerail: Destiny and Dishonor [Album Review]


Donerail is an intriguing group of fellas, no matter from what angle of the music world you decide to look at them. Their classic roots are embedded on their sophomore release Destiny and Dishonor. But all the indie brands and typecasting are clear and present enough for them to flourish in the night life of their home city of Portland, Oregon. In just one song, these blokes will go from spiritual, to rugged, to loving in only a couple minutes. And unlike many indie acts today, their songs are inspiring and much less destructive than what you might hear regularly.

With the exception of the super upbeat “Some Ending” and “Suspended Time”, this is a very low key album. Donerail has dubbed themselves as Experimental Folk. It’s possible. But, there isn’t much experimental about songs like “Glass Bottom Boat” or “Merry Christmas”. It’s just good old fashioned storytelling stripped down and best heard under black light bulbs and through clouds of cigarette smoke. Destiny and Dishonor is one of those gem of an albums you occasionally find in the back seat of your friend’s Honda. You probably don’t expect much from them right off, but they will be impressive after an entire listen.

This is a fine group of guys that you can’t help but love. Their energy is intense to say the least. Their talents are obviously exceptional. And Destiny and Dishonor is a wonderful audio portfolio of everything these guys have to offer. Like a discarded rocking chair, wherever you might might find vulnerability in their tunes, the strange bit of history implemented in their style will make up for it. This is just wonderful genre-defining and bending rock and roll.

Donerail: Bozeman [mp3]


[CD, 2009]

1. Bozeman
2. Some Ending
3. Suspended Time
4. Better Off Red
5. Glass Bottom Boat
6. The Gorged
7. Merry Christmas
8. St. Pat’s
9. Black Lights In The Night Sky
10. Last Night In Town

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