The Dont's
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The Dont's

Band Alternative Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"The Dont's - Misc Radio Leakage"

Author: L.A. Solinas
Release Date: 2005-04-12
Label: Book of Karma
Our Rating: 7
Reader's Rating: 10

They're a young band -- but the Donts don't sound like one. It takes many bands years to establish a muted sound like this. Mixing the best elements of pop, post-rock and a dash of punk, Misc Radio Leakage is a fun, strangely eerie listening experience.

The San Francisco band kick off the album with a sharp drum set. Then guitars and bass come in, setting up the tone for the rest of the album -- catchy guitar and percussion, but with a smooth, unvarying sound sitting just under the surface. Songs like "Sissy Resist" goes further into post-rock territory, and a few stray into psychedelica. But the core of it is solid, complex rock, and the Donts do that wonderfully.

It's a fun sound, and it takes multiple listens to really absorb in full. The Donts sound a little like the Pixies by way of the Flaming Lips... but that is merely as close as I can get to comparisons. They actually don't sound like any other band that I have heard of, with their mixture of smooth post-rock and loosely-tied rock rhythms. The thing is, it works wonderfully. It really shouldn't, but it does.

The Donts sound like an indie band, if "indie" can refer to a specific sound -- it means they sound a bit fuzzy, somewhat lo-fi and unpolished, but still immensely fun and catchy. JJ Dont's bass, Joey Dont's guitar and Kenny Dont's stellar drums form a versatile musical base, flavored with a bit of Omnichord.

Jonny Dont, vocalist and Omnichord player, sounds a bit like Lou Reed's more melodious little brother -- his voice gets to weave in and out of the murky rock songs, announcing "I will not wait in public/I will not give up my friends/I will not do anything!" with calm defiance. "I'm on my best behavior!" This guy is a rock vocalist in the best possible way.

The Donts may be self-described "pretty boys," but they are no vapid pop band. Instead, Misc Radio Leakage is one of the most intriguing albums released this year. - Kludge Magazine

"The Dont's: misc radio leakage"

misc radio leakage
Self-Released, 2005
rating: 3.5/5
reviewer: matt weir

"It sux about them changing TMNT, as well as the fact that they are changing Bugs Bunny is a sin! Hello! Can't these people just create entirely new characters?? Why does everything have to be 'NEW AND IMPROVED?'" -Coolingobsidian, on the message board about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon

"Jesus, are people just not interesting in buying used records anymore?" -Brian Hellman, in the Chunklet Issue 19 review of why Blueberry Boat is overrated

I wet the bed a couple of months ago. No drugs or alcohol in my system. No scary nightmare. No excuse. I woke up at 5 a.m., peeing in my bed as my eyes opened. I'm peeing. I'm peeing, I thought. Oh shit, I'm peeing. But I couldn't stop. I kept peeing as I arose out of sleep until I was completely soaked. I took my sweatpants and bed sheets up to the laundry room and slept the rest of the night on the ground of my room. I haven't really told anybody about that night yet. I'm in college; I shouldn't be pissing my bed. But I figure I'd mention it here because I'd tell the Dont's. Whatever this band don'ts, they certainly don't sound like mean dudes. They sound like a really fun band, one that would hear my pee-pee story and throw me a beer before telling me not to have too many before going to bed. "Haha. Very funny, the Dont's," I would say. "Maybe I'll sleep in the Dont's bed tonight!" And then the Dont's would all whoop and holler and...

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Well, regardless of how much fun they sound, these guys sound like Can meets the Replacements. Let's all salivate for a moment. That's a pretty incredible thing to state, especially since those names may signify two of the most important rock bands of all time. But on "Little Doggie Chew" and opener "It All Falls Apart," the kraut groove trances while pub rock guitars shatter over Jonny Dont's Westerberged vocals. The band even has the vocals mixed low in homage to the egoless Can sound, but they don't let that stop them from rocking out at the appropriate power trash moments.

The question is, do we need this? Don't we already have Can and the Replacements? What makes the Dont's worth listening to? Because Can and the Replacements are also two bands that released gobs of great work. We're not really hurting for more from each band. We have a lot to digest from both of those superpowers. I asked myself that question long and hard while listening to this debut LP, wondering what made their interpretation of two amazing influences unique and vital.

And I think it comes down to the band interplay, something necessary for great krautrock and pub rock. In fact, it's amazing no one has melded these genres as well before. Both require everyone to be on the same page and working toward the same mindless sound, whether it is repetitive grooves or crushing power pop. And the Dont's sound like a band, in the full sense of the word. The instruments all work together, twisting and turning behind and in front of each other to accentuate their own sparse brand of beer-fueled groove music. Jonny Don't, Joey Don't, JJ Don't, and Kenny Don't all sound like they practice hours a day and have culled this debut LP, misc radio leakage , from countless improvised sessions (which they have). Like I said earlier, they sound like fun.

There are two fateful miscues on the album, however. The boys start having too much fun at times, and the songs with funny names, "Kissing Mom" and "Trade You For Drugs," don't go anywhere past their titles. But every other song is built on a sweet kraut-groove and excellent guitar noise. "Little Doggie Chew" even contains one of the funniest moment in a rock song since Mclusky's last album. Jonny Don't proclaims that his band loves themselves and the rest of the Dont's chime in with a bored and disaffected, "We love ourselves." It's magic, and then the song flops back into the rocking chorus. It makes me almost wet myself. Almost. Almost. - Tiny Mix Tapes

"10 in 10 part 4: The Dont's"

Ariella (our webmaster) and I were chatting on the phone and she asked "Waht are you listening to? A jam band?" while I was listening to Misc Radio Leakage. You know, she wasn't really that far off. Significantly angrier, dirtier, and gothier sounding than some of their progenitors (Les Savvy Fav comes to mind), San Francisco's The Dont's re-envision post-punk of The Pixies and LSF by slowing it down, using Cure-ish guitars, and a little bit of Sex Pistols sneering. I think it's the bass lines that pull the rtecord together -- particularly on the anthemic "Little Doggie Chew." The Dont's whole-heartedly play half-hearted dance punk: they're crafted an entire album around anticipation... - Aural Minority

"The Dont's "misc radio leakage""

Misc Radio Leakage has the best of no worlds, a record that doesn’t give a fuck, played expertly by musicians skilled in the art of stabbing your expectations. The vocals have a snide anarchic sex appeal, caught somewhere Mark E. Smith and Stephen Malkmus as they shift from whisper to howl with a cadence that almost seems to resent the music. But it works brilliantly, because the instruments themselves act gleefully undecided, born of muddied influences that traverse improvisational jazz guitar and the comforting scuzz of “Sister”-era Sonic Youth.

The Don’ts tease your ear with feinting shifts from harshness to soft petting. On “Die Empire”, the song matches a lumbering bassline with guitar that starts as a tickling trickle before periodically detonating into a distorted smack of a chord. The vocals pull the same S&M trick, cooing you closer before cracking into something of a sedate scream. Far from seesawing you sick, these change-up make Misc Radio Leakage electric with cunning looseness, an album ripe with justified bravado. It doesn’t hurt that they love to sarcastically sodomize their own hooks in the pursuit of their own amusement. “Little Doggie Chew” sounds like The Stiv Bators trying to get on The O.C. with a chorus of “Woo hoo” that’s sang with zombie enthusiasm and an eye rolling cowbell played over the occasional bleep from a Speak n’ Spell on its last legs.

Part of the appeal of this album comes from the rawness of the production, which almost never has everything in the right place or at the right level, but in a way that feels like a live show with the riffs bleeding into the vocals and the whole sound covered in stale smoke, spontaneity, and dangerously liquored delivery. - Indie Workshop


Model (EP) -- played on KUSF, KALX, KZSU
misc radio leakage (LP) -- also on KUSF, KALX, KZSU


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Dont's are a notoriously ecclectic bunch who spend weeks improvising in their San Francisco basement and then play a spattering of live shows each season. In April 2005 the band released misc radio leakage, a full-length album fueled by the post-9/11 world of confusion, paranoia, and towel-cape dissidence. A departure from the structural fuzz-pop arrangements on their 2003 debut EP, the new misc radio leakage finds the frisco foursome pursuing darker melodic passages influenced by Can, The Fall, Flaming Lips, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Iggy & the Stooges, old Bowie 45s...