I’ve been listening to Canada’s DANKO JONES religiously for over 20 years now. I found the band on their second album “We Sweat Blood” in 2003 when they were still an underground rock band that was blowing audiences away with their high energy live shows.
Since that time I’ve been preaching to anyone who would listen that this band SHOULD be on radio stations all over the world and playing arenas. While frontman guitarist/vocalist Danko Jones and his bandmates have seen some mainstream success and collaborations, they haven’t achieved the status I thought they should have. And to be honest, that’s probably not a terrible thing, they’ve always done what they want and continue to crank out catchy Hard Rock into their third decade of existence.
Since I’ve been there since the beginning (almost), I’m also one of their biggest critics. “We Sweat Blood” was a killer album, but they managed to outdo themselves on the next album “Sleep Is The Enemy”. They’ve gone back and forth over the years without drastically altering their sound.
At first they were looked at as a indie band and implemented some dance grooves here and there. But as time has progressed they have drifted over to strait up rock. Danko Jones grew up listening to bands like Ratt and other 80’s bands so he didn’t have the right background for the elite critics to get behind him. The lyrics are also unapologetically about sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, not exactly politically correct.
And if you were worried about DANKO JONES going over to the “woke” side, don’t worry. The first two songs are spent talking about “Guess Who’s Back” and they’re ready to have a “Good Time”, which is exactly what commences.
“Electric Sounds”, “Get High”, “Stiff Competition” and “She’s My Baby” are classic DANKO JONES rockers that don’t mince words. He’s like a modern day Van Halen in some respects, you can’t listen to DAKNO JONES and be in a bad mood. You might feel like breaking stuff, but you’ll break stuff with a smile.
DANKO JONES has always had a great sense of melody too and brining a 50’s rock n’ roll simplicity to the songs. When you mix in the Thin Lizzy influence you get it some of the tastiest tunes you’ll hear coming out of anyone. “I Like It” isn’t exactly a groundbreaking song title, but DANKO JONES makes it come alive as they recapture some of their early magic and energy. “You’re that little kitty cat with the hot body.”… only DANKO JONES could make that line sound so bad ass and cool.
The band over the years pretty much invented a sub-genre of “High School Rock N” Roll”, with songs like “Let’s Make Out”. It’s got the vibe of something from THE DONNAS (who would make a great partner in a co-headlining tour btw). The lyrics are so painfully simple and playful you feel yourself transported to a Junior High dance.
I’ve always loved on DANKO JONES made me feel… happy! Even when the band is hammering away at more aggressive tracks you feel happy. I’m happy they’re still putting out great rock n’ roll, I’m happy they’re a three-piece that sounds like they still jam in a garage somewhere. I’m happy they keep putting out music at such a high level. Is this their best? Probably too early to tell, it’s certainly on the high end of the list.