DANKO JONES

"Below the Belt" (Bad Taste; 2010)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

After taking a bit of a musical detour, veteran Canadian trio Danko Jones crank out the jams and returns to form of  old with a characteristically ballsy and raucous rock ‘n roll record on the 11-track offering "Below the Belt."

Keeping the hard rock riffs flowing freely with sleaze rock swagger (“I Think Bad Thoughts”), this crunchy collection of tunes dutifully echoes the waist-down philosophy of KISS and adds in a slew of fuzzy Thin Lizzy meets UFO six-string sting to the mix, resulting in a head-bobbing rock stomping good time that once again succeeds in resonating a retro vibe without coming off as dishonest or forced.

Featuring an endless supply of thinly-veiled lyrical innuendos that scream rebellion, hook-laden choruses that are custom made for rock radio takeover (“Active Volcanoes,” “Tonight is Fine”), and Frehley-esque solos (“Like Dynamite”), Danko Jones unleashes a cowbell happy and down and dirty rock album that plays up sturdy subtleties from the likes of AC/DC or Motorhead with a heightened punk rock energy supercharging the entire affair.

For more information, check out http://www.dankojones.com.

"Never Too Loud" (Bad Taste; 2009)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Veritable Canadian hard rock trio Danko Jones strays a few degrees away from the raucous all guns blazing design that gave them their reputation to make way for a much more streamlined and less dangerous change of pace on their latest effort, "Never Too Loud."

Opting to draw from the squad’s favorite classic rock nuances to comprise this 11-track affair, tunes like the more-than-ever Thin Lizzy-inspired “Ravenous” and “City Streets” maintain the trademark grit this European circuit favorite is known for and sophomoric romps “Let’s Get Undressed” and “Still in High School” quench perpetual teenage fantasies as only rock'n'roll can fulfill, yet the slick Kid Rock-esque ballad “Take Me Home” misses the mark, sounding a bit too polished and contrived from a band that thrives on energy and rock'n'roll rebellion to churn out.

The album’s best moment, however, is the deliciously deliberate stoner rock direction the six-minute plus track “Forest for the Trees” takes, which boasts not only an undeniable hypnotic groove but boasts a pair of blockbuster guest vocalists in the form of John Garcia and Pete Stahl who, alongside Jones, form a monstrous vocal stoner rock triad that is worth the price of the disc alone.

Following the lead set by heroes AC/DC and Motorhead in providing consistence while digging deeper to display their roots, "Never Too Loud" is an album that will perplex some fans as it will take a few listens to fully absorb the changes, yet it is still armed with all the necessary elements to absolutely satisfy everyone who is about to rock.

For more information visit http://www.dankojones.com.

"We Sweat Blood" (Razor & Tie; 2005 / 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The beautiful things about friends that love music as much as you do is that you are constantly getting exposure to bands and styles that you might not normally pursue. Danko Jones is a perfect case in point. This Canadian rock trio would never have been on my list of bands to check out if it weren’t for the fact that despite all my extreme metal preferences my co-worker knew that I listen to and appreciate bands like The Wildhearts and Turbonegro.

I seriously doubt I’ve ever reviewed a band on the Razor & Tie label – and there’s a reason for that. From what little I’ve heard from the label I just don’t care for what it offers. But I’ll never call the folks at Razor & Tie stupid. They were smart enough to pick up Danko Jones and offer a version of Danko Jones’ “We Sweat Blood” for American consumption after it was seriously underexposed.

Danko Jones manage to mix The Knack, Kiss, AC/DC, ‘70s-styled boogie/sleaze rock, garage rock, and pop punk into an infectious mix. “We Sweat Blood” contains 14 hard-rockin’, super catchy rockers. The taut songwriting leads to less than 42 minutes of music – but that’s OK as the songs on “We Sweat Blood” are worth they’re weight in gold. The lyrics are outrageous, but in a good way. Sometimes life gets too serious and Danko Jones are here to remind you that it is possible to get away even if it is only for three-quarters of an hour via this platter.

“We Sweat Blood” manages to be a toe-tapping, head-bobbing gem.

“We Sweat Blood” was produced by Matteo DeMatteo and Danko Jones.

Danko Jones: Danko Jones on vocals and guitars, John “JC” Calabrese on bass, and Damon Richardson on drums.

For more information visit http://www.dankojones.com.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

 

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Revised: 02 May 2017 21:24:57 -0400 .