Sometimes, artists take themselves too seriously. It’s not an affliction that most suffer from, and certainly not The Inoculated Canaries. Judging by their recently released song “Donna,” the seriously skilled four-person rock band has the relaxed sense of humor and casual flair for self-mockery that’s often required for navigating New York’s competitive music scene. Or, at the very least, for having a good time while playing shows.
“Donna” is about a woman who seems to treat her lover in a way that’s less than desirable for a successful relationship built on mutual respect: “She loves to kick me when I’m down.” This treatment, however, seems to be something he not only tolerates, but appears to want to take to the next level, believing it would display her ultimate love and dedication to him: “But I want to be where she’s around. Sometimes I wish she’d kick me harder, so that I know that she really cares.” It’s quite absurd.
"The lyrics to ‘Donna’ are very tongue and cheek,” states the band. “The song is not meant to take itself too seriously.” Of course, those who have seen the music video already know that. The antagonist, who is sporting some 1950s inspired accessories and seems to be acutely aware of her sexuality, is often depicted suggestively licking an enormous lollipop. She instigates several interactions with her lover, where her overt flirting leaves him uncomfortably enticed and annoyed, but nothing beyond that actually happens.
Though The Inoculated Canaries cites a lot of classic bands as its influences, it actually reminds me a lot of the bands that came out in the late 90s. “Donna” has a lot of energy, a good tempo, and a nice flow. In the opening, I hear distinct hints of Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta,” while other parts of the song tend to bring thoughts of Everclear. Either way, those are two bands I haven’t thought about in a long time, but was pleasantly reminded of their influence on my teenage years by this single.
The Inoculated Canaries is composed of Michael Rubin on guitar and vocals, James Terranova on drums, Dylan Gross on bass, and Brian Sweeney on keyboard. Don't miss their performance at Arlene's Grocery in NYC on Thursday, November 7th.
Note* Album provided for objective review by our partners. Photo by IrisView Photography.