I must confess to not having heard much of Danko Jones‘ music, but for a recent interview I did with the band I checked out enough of their material to convince me to have a crack at the new album Electric Sounds.
It’s the trio’s 11th album, so obviously someone out there likes them.
Opening with Guess Who’s Back – which was also one of the songs that introduced me to Danko Jones – the boys get me immediately on side with their opening statement of “Guess Who’s Back? Me motherfucker. Take your best shot. Coz I don’t give a damn.”
Fuck to the yes.
This track is an absolute banger, with a pearler of a guitar riff that steers the song from one sonic statement to another.
It’s pretty clear Danko Jones don’t give a fuck about your opinion of them, and why should they when their music is this good.
It’s simple meat and potatoes stuff but done with an overwhelming coolness that has me looking to the doorway to see if the Fonz is “heyyyy” ing his way in.
The fun continues with Good Time which kicks in courtesy of more guitar work from Danko himself who handles both vocal and guitar duties.
It is another rock-drenched track teeming with attitude and apathy. It’s pretty clear these guys love to get down and as if on cue Danko informs us “I came here to fuck shit up and have a good time”. My kind of party.
Danko seems pretty insistent on his intentions here, so if anyone takes umbrage to the man’s actions you can’t say you weren’t warned.
So far this album has me pulling my party boots on, and it’s not even lunchtime yet, so they must be doing something right.
The title track screams to life next and immediately proves just why the album was coined after the song title.
It’s a frenetic helping of rock, tastier than a slab of VB, that starts fast and maintains that same intensity throughout. I already know I want to see these guys live before a couple of wicked guitar breakdowns and/or solos rams the point home. I can’t remember the last time a bunch of songs from a band I haven’t heard much of has got me so worked up.
Get High could be a mellower song if the stoner reference in the title is accurate but after a frisk guitar intro I’m thinking maybe they are talking in terms of height.
This is a more subdued number while still maintaining an underbelly drenched in sweat. Which gets me thinking these guys could be the red-belly black snakes of rock?
Stiff Competition sounds like it could be a fighting song but if the intro is any indication it’s not going to be a slugfest. More of a 12-round marathon.
Which isn’t to say it is dull and drawn out. Far from it.
Danko Jones do the rock thing well – better than most – with Danko’s vocal delivery fresh and exuberant while still paying homage to a genre of music that has had many pretenders and few contenders.
A cool as fuck guitar solo forces its way in about halfway but doesn’t manage to throw Danko Jones off in their quest for rock supremecy. The solos act more as an accompaniment to each track rather than a “look at me” type thing which obviously has much to do with the chemistry of the three band members.
She’s My Baby acts as the midpoint of the album but doesn’t use that as an excuse to back off the throttle with a punkier type of track that has about as much of a care factor as I do watching the football now the Bombers are out of the race.
i.e ZERO FUCKS GIVEN
Despite the quirky nature of this song it also has a killer hook and could almost make it onto mainstream radio for a drive-time show or something similar. Fun, fast, and frenetic and a damn fine song at that!
Eye For An Eye sounds promising and doesn’t disappoint. It’s another up-tempo banger with a dash of rockabilly thrown in for good measure. Not one song so far has had even a hint of melancholy which is refreshing to say the least. Instead, Danko Jones focus on the positives and issue a relentless command to join them in the festivities either voluntarily or by force.
Danko again gets his solo groove on here with a blisteringly fast piece of action that made even my fingers hurt. There’s a definite punk ethos permeating through Danko Jones. It’s as if they have tapped into their inner punk but left the door ajar only enough to surface when summoned.
Which is pretty much every song.
I Like It sums up my view on the album so far and effectively rams that point home with a groovy and tempered rock intro that burns.
Steadied by a structured guitar riff that puts the funk back in rock, I Like It doesn’t even sound like it is being directed at any one thing in particular. These guys like it all, as alluded to in the opening statement mentioned earlier.
In case you missed it they “came to fuck shit up and have a good time”. As if you could forget…
Let’s Make Out could be a love song but if it is, it is tough as fuck.
Another chunky guitar riff carries the song into the foreground, with John Calabrese (bass) and Rich Knox (drums) content to slip into Danko’s slipstream and steer the rock ship into unchartered waters.
It almost has a KISS type rock anthem feel with a splash of Steel Panther’s suggestiveness sprinkled on top. And that guitar solo… Danko can certainly play.
What Goes Around comes around next and rips out of the blocks with a swift drum intro before Danko Jones thrust headfirst into another rock/punk hybrid to warm the heart. I kind of thought that I might start to tire of the band’s boundless enthusiasm towards the end of this album, but it’s quite the opposite.
Aside from the fact I am running out of time before taking my beautiful girls to lunch I could quite easily digest several more helping of Danko Jones and probably still go back for more.
Attitude – tick
Balls – tick
Fun – tick
Kick ass factor – tick.
A+ for Danko Jones.
But the boys aren’t done with us yet. We still have Shake Your City to wrap things up and this song rocks with just as much intensity as the first one and everything in between.
And not one ballad or even mini ballad to be heard.
Rock has a new King ladies and metalheads and their name is Danko Jones.
Fuck, now I guess I am going to have to make time to listen to the first ten albums…