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Music Review: Donita Sparks & The Stellar Moments – Transmiticate

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Nasty (in a good way) girl Donita Sparks is back with an all new release Transmiticate.  The bad girl of the '90s has not thrown in the towel just quite yet.  Although the years may have gone by Donita Sparks & The Stellar Moments sound like nothing has changed at all.  This time around Donita Sparks focuses more on the vocal aspects of the band and not so much the guitar playing.

For those of you who have no idea who Donita Sparks is, you may remember a certain all female band called L7 that rocked out in the '90s.  They had a musical style between punk and alternative rock connected with an attitude that may have been frightening but in fact was intelligent.

Donita Sparks was one of the tough front women for the pro-choice band.  She shared vocals as well as played guitar.  She was a little more outspoken at times and her actions on and off stage put her in the spotlight of the media at times most notably the Reading Festival in 1991.  Donita Sparks along with the rest of L7 had a successful career with a couple of their albums going major attention and even having one of their songs on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack.

After the years went by L7 released six studio releases.  By 2000 the record sales were not shaping up to what they used to be and L7 went on hiatus with no immediate plans of regrouping.  Donita Sparks  and L7 dummer Dee Plakas continues however and formed Donita Sparks & The Stellar Movements.

Starting off the 11 track CD is “Fly Feather Fly/”  This song reminds me of the Breeders for some reason.  It just had a grundgy raspy feel to it thanks to Donita Sparks’ voice.  After hearing this song I really was curious to hear the rest of the CD.  This was a good song to start with.

The first single off the CD Infancy Of A Disaster seems a little L7 at times but minus the attitude.  The song is rather hypnotic at times and seems pop rock with edge reminding me again of the '90s music I used to rock out to as a kid.  I have a feeling “Dare Dare” may be getting played at some dance clubs as it rocks out and has a move-your-body heatedly on the dance floor.  This song unquestionably can kick some ass compared to some of that garbage people dance to.  “He’s Got The Honey” is another track on the CD that makes you want to boogie.

Garage rock sounding “Headcheck” was a fun track although the lyrics were a little repetitive.  “My Skin’s Too Thin” slows down a bit and is almost slow danceable unless you listen to the lyrics; the lyrics seem a little more personal over the rest.
“Curtains For Cathy” is a well-written song about the true tale of a sad event.  I really like this song a lot.  It almost grabs you as you listen to it.   Donita Sparks’ singing is strong and sexy even though the track is about someone's death.

“Creampuff” is a slower track.  At first I was not too into it as it seemed too slow but once the backup harmonies aligned with Donita Sparks it turned into a enjoyable track. 

If there are any Riotgirls left out there or fans of grunge rock, this CD needs to be a part of their collections.  If you think all the female rockers out there need to step it up a bit, Donita Sparks & The Stellar Moments should be right up your alley.  It is nice to see a musician with a successful history not give up when others did and try a different approach at recording music.  I like the idea of Donita Sparks as the front woman of the band and not just a member.  She did a great job at writing some memorable songs on this CD.  If you like your music a little more power rock with elements of pop and danceable qualities this CD is for you.

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About Brian McConville