Danko Jones - Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue Review
Posted by Andy Rackauskas on 10.25.2012
Danko Jones sweat blood. At least they have in the past. Some of their more recent recordings have not quite been as blood-sweating-worthy as previous efforts. Andy Rackauskas has a close listen to determine if Danko need a sweat rag or a spot in the sell-back bin with their latest effort, “Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue”.
Bad Taste Records
Release Date - 10/9/12
1 Terrified - 3:26
2 Get Up - 3:09
3 Legs - 3:37
4 Just A Beautiful Day - 3:14
5 I Don't Care - 3:19
6 You Wear Me Down - 3:54
7 Type Of Girl - 3:45
8 Always Away - 4:11
9 Conceited - 3:46
10 Don't Do This - 3:42
11 The Masochist - 2:53
12 I Believed In God - 3:58
13 I Believed In God (Reprise) - 0:46
14 In Your Arms (Bonus Track) - 4:26
Design – Uprising Creative, The
Engineer [Assistant Engineer] – Kevin O'Leary
Mastered By – Brian Gardner
Mixed By – Mike Fraser
Photography By – Calle Stoltz
Producer – Danko Jones, Matt DeMatteo
Written-By – A. Willard*, D. Jones*, J. Calabrese*
Danko Jones have been around for a while. In fact, since 1996. Not that you’ve ever heard of them. They generate zero press sadly. And it’s a shame. Danko Jones rock. Hard. Hailing from Canada (probably another reason they don’t get much press in the US), Danko Jones is a trio consisting of frontman and lead guitarist, Danko Jones, John Clabrese on bass, and Atom Willard on drums. Note that they’ve gone through about 6 drummers, just like Spinal Tap. But Willard is a fine addition and hopefully will stick around! All three guys pack a punch. As hard as they rock on album, they do so even more in a live setting. It’s the true tell tale sign that a band is truly good. Danko’s brand of rock is heavily influenced by AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and others. It’s pure old school hard rock. It’s about chicks, bad luck, hard times, being pissed off, and rockin’. It’s like the blues. It’s escapism that borders on reality. There’s truth in them thar lies.
The band has delivered some truly epic albums like 2003’s “We Sweat Blood” and 2006’s “Sleep Is The Enemy”. However, they slicked out on their last couple efforts; “Never Too Loud” and “Below the Belt”. There was some solid rock jams in those albums, but they just felt way too poppy and lackluster. Thankfully, “Rock and Roll is Black and Blue” is a return to form! Gone is the over-production and heavy lean towards power pop. The album’s opening cut, “Terrified” personifies that. It’s an all out rocker. The relentless staccato is infectious; virtually demanding one to nod their head to the rhythm. Next up is “Get Up”. It is a sexually charged jam loaded with a big hook to draw you in. To close out the trifecta of opening songs, “Legs” offers up a slow boom bounce with a big bass sound. It’s a great juvenile rant about the song title topic. When Danko sings “The longer they get, the more stupider I’m in the head”, you know exactly what kind of jam you’re dealing with! Keep it simple!
Some other standout track on “Rock and Roll is Black and Blue” are “I Don’t Care” (which embodies the Danko Jones sound…aggressive and ancy), “You Wear Me Down” (like late AC/DC form “Fly on the Wall” with a nod to Zeppelin that feels like a rockin’ summer jam), and the bonus track “In Your Arms” (which is a slow 50’s-esque song that sounds like the best song Danzig never did).
However, Danko really hit the target on “I Believed in God”. It has a nice Gospel intro that quickly devolves into an agro hard rock jam! Danko expounds on the pluses and minuses for the fairer sex and gives both praise and blame to the responsible party! Tongue and cheek rock and roll. It’s really Danko at his finest!
There are a couple so-so jams, like “Type of Girl” and “Don’t Do This”. But, even “Just a Beautiful Day” is rockin’ enough for the melodic chorus.
When you hear people say rock is dead. Throw “Rock and Roll is Black and Blue” right at them. It’s alive and well. You just have to look for it. Gaga will find you, Danko won’t. You have to find Danko. And it’s worth the search!
Danko Jones – “I Believed in God”
The 411: The 411:
“Rock and Roll is Black and Blue” is a fine addition to Danko Jones’ repertoire. It’s hard rock at its finest. It’s dirty, sleazy and full of bombast. This album truly deserves a listen. The only thing better than listening to “Rock and Roll is Black and Blue” is hearing the band play it live. If you get a chance to catch Danko live, they are a must! In the meantime, give the album a try and you should be in for a treat.