Formed when singer-bassist Lorna Donley was 17, DA! became an early and important fixture on the Chicago hardcore scene, although the group was musically removed from punk. Spare guitar, bass and drums create a cold, tense background for Donley’s introspective lyrics, which she delivers with surety and strength, occasionally set in pretty melodies. Not a pleasant record, but one with conviction and a definite style on the way to being impressive.
In the ’90s, after a long layoff, Donley formed Hip Deep Trilogy. The group issued five tracks on the compilation by Chicago label Widely Distributed (alongside Algebra Suicide, the Lilacs and the Fingerjays), which then released the trio’s album, Cannibal Smile.
Donley died of a ruptured aorta in 2013.