The same analogy applies to Butch Walker's producing style. A shoulda-been with his '70s-power-rock-leaning band Marvelous 3, Walker employs a knob-spinning modus operandi in his solo work that depends heavily on making every band he works with resemble his own commercial flops.
This reverse-Midas touch infiltrates the Donnas' latest disc, Gold Medal. Instead of the AC/DCisms the Bay Area foursome unleashed on Spend the Night, its mainstream breakthrough in 2002, Medal is beholden to power poppers Holly & the Italians and Cheap Trick for its brash melodic chords and midtempo arena screamers begging for a bitchin' Camaro and some Schlitz tallboys. This posturing works in spots -- the gleeful jukebox romp "Have You No Pride" and vocalist Brett Anderson's successful metamorphosis from punk-rock Lolita to metal vixen vamp on "It's So Hard." Overall, however, Medal feels sluggish and devoid of the Donnas' playful sass. Judges, award this disc nothing above the bronze.