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BLACK DONNELLYS – ‘Orchestrate a Disaster’ EP Review

black-donnellysThe e-mail that accompanied this EP release from London, Ontario (Canada) based Black Donnellys, was so intriguing that we could not wait to hear the music. Seems as though the group was based around Canada’s version of John Lydon who is the lead singer and wordsmith of the band.

Despite some significant local presence and a strong following, the singer, Dan Rudbal, saw his first band disintegrate on the verge of big things and then, the Black Donnellys rarely lasted more than a couple of gigs.

Then another local punk, Al Hate assembled a band around Rudbal and the 13th version of the Donnellys were formed! They stayed together long enough to write and record the excellent ‘Orchestrate A Disaster’ E.P.

For me, there is a Southern California feel to the band with Offspring style vocals layered over Circle Jerks/Bad Religion riffs. The songs were recorded 10 years ago (yes, the band split) but Hate has revisited the recordings and released them.

‘Dead And Bleeding’ is the opening track and is a melodic but powerful punk song with some excellent vocals and guitar work. ‘Bugs and Twigs’ ups the pace with a D-Beat drum powered song. The third of the five songs is ‘Lucky Man’ – a very strong effort indeed that would grace any punk rock collection with a sing-along style. ‘Away’ continues the consistency and by now you can see why the group built up such a following. Rudbal sounds increasingly like Dexter Holland of Offspring whilst the band showcase some terrific tight musicianship.

Ending the EP with ‘The Great White Way’ we get a glimpse of what the Black Donnellys could have become. It’s almost operatic in scope, angry as hell in tone and dark in terms of sound and lyrics.

The EP is simply terrific and well worth your time and money. On the 10th anniversary of it’s recording, it’s a welcome addition to the punk annals of Canada and the world in general. Get it here: https://blackdonnellys13.bandcamp.com/releases

Stumpy – Punk Online


Track Listing

  1. Dead and Bleeding
  2. Bugs and Twigs
  3. Lucky Man
  4. Away
  5. The Great White Way