Philly Rock Group Prima Donna Releases New LP and Instant Classic, “Restored”

Female-fronted rock group from Philadelphia, Prima Donna, has released their first full-length record since 2003’s widely acclaimed “Not Having Fun.”


Female-fronted rock group from Philadelphia, Prima Donna, has released their first full-length record since 2003’s widely acclaimed “Not Having Fun.” The album is a grooving, rocking return to the best principles of early-80s pop rock and roll, raw without sounding crass, precise without sounding pretentious, and expertly executed without losing the purity of its garage sound.

Right out of the package, Prima Donna will remind music fans of a time when songwriting meant more than packing as much sound as one could engineer into forty, fifty, or two-hundred guitar tracks on a DAT tape. The vocals feel earnest and American, like the laid-back intensity of Heart or Fleetwood Mac, and never sound strained or contrived. Lead vocalist Debbie and twin singer/guitarists Gina and Tina are often reminiscent of the Runaways’ best moments, or of the Pretenders.

Prima Donna’s guitar work is one of the group’s best features. With its warm Marshall tone and classic, unhurried rhythm, it ends up somewhere between the melodies of the Cars and the bar chords of the Replacements: nothing but frank, unabashed rock and roll polished to a high shine and belted out. Leads are present, but not ever-present, and never lapse into mindless noodling. The plain muscle and passion behind the songwriting exhibits the exquisite taste of its composers, as well as that of its performers.

The bass and drums are perhaps the group’s secret weapon, however. Subtle in their display and surgically clean in their playing, bassist Steve and drummer Dave are more than a mere backbone, more than a solid backdrop – as a backbone they’re like the steel skeleton of a New York skyscraper; as a backdrop, they’re like fireworks in the sky. Bass and drums haven’t sounded this good together since Joe Jackson. They probably won’t be the first thing you notice, but that’s how they work: they’re ninjas of pop.

It’s taken a long time for Prima Donna to bring rock and roll of this caliber home, but rock owes them a debt of gratitude for getting around to it at last. Their new record “Restored” is absolutely deserving of an afternoon’s listen on repeat, so by all means, put on a black leather jacket and enjoy it.

-Sean McCauley

MondoTunes Staff Writer

The LP “Restored” is distributed globally by MondoTunes ( and is available at iTunes for convenient purchase and download

MondoTunes ( supplies the largest music distribution in the world and provides upstream services for many major labels in search of breakout artists. While most independent distributors reach only 45-50 retailers despite charging needless monthly and yearly fees, MondoTunes reaches over 750 retailers and mobile partners in over 100 world regions without any monthly or yearly fees.



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About BothEyesShut

BothEyesShut is your friendly autodidact, at your service to amuse, enthuse, and offend you with a fresh, steady flow of original disinformation. He was born in Huntington Beach, CA and is currently writing his fifth novel. "In a Real World, This Would Be Happening" is his first return to non-fiction since his monthly column in Going Coastal magazine in 2001. He lives in Long Beach.

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