DANKO JONES – Rock And Roll Is Black And Blue

Danko Jones - Rock and Roll is Black and BlueI have always thought that Danko Jones and his band, that goes under his own name, is one of the most overrated bands ever. I have heard lots of their songs on the radio, but since they have done nothing for me at all and I have never been moved the least when listening, I have never taken an interest in the band what so ever.  But while they might sound a bit mediocre on record, it’s in a live environment they come alive for real. I saw them for the first time at Sweden Rock Festival this year and they really rocked my socks off. All the songs that had left me cold while listening on the radio, totally blew my mind live. Right there and then I became a fan. Of course I had to check out their albums a little closer after that, giving them a fair chance and what I heard didn’t leave me cold at all. Specially Below The Belt did the trick for me. What really got to me is the honesty in their music. These guys really live and love hard rock all the way. They are also true hard rock and metal fans. They still love their idols unconditionally. Their music sweats, it aches and it attacks like wounded predator and it’s not always easy to catch all that in a studio, even though you’re recording everything live.

Still, on their new record, Danko Jones is held back a little with just that. The biggest problem is that the band focuses so hard on the energy and spirit that they sometimes forget to write an album full of killer tracks. That makes the result a bit uneven when you’re listening at home. Every song on the album will probably go down like a storm live. But while in the right mood, there are a bunch of tracks that will get you going. “Get Up” is a fist-in-your-face groover, “Legs” is dirty as a drunken lay and grooves right from the crotch, “Just A Beautiful Day” sticks out a bit with a commercial touch, catchy but not cheesy, “You Wear Me Down” goes Zeppelin riffing and “Type Of Girl” has that sticky hard rock chorus that Danko does so well. “Always Away” is a pop song on a foundation of hard rock, “Don’t Do This” is a typical Danko Jones groover and “I Believed In God” is not a christian song despite the title and the brilliant gospel choir. Nothing but, actually and one of the finest tracks on this album.

I have a hard time believing that anyone who is into Danko’s music will be disappointed in this album. If you’re a fan, you’ll like it, if you’re not a fan you probably won’t dig this at all. Still, this album is an uneven give and just like their other releases, their focus lies on the energy and the attack and sometimes that gets in the way of actual song writing and this album contains too many fillers for a real high rating. This album will probably not be played on a daily basis in my home, but it will be perfect for your party. And I’m looking forward to hearing this album the next time I catch them in concert. No matter what you think of the songs, they really do rock like crazy!

Jon Wilmenius (6/10)

Tracklist:

01. Terrified
02. Get Up
03. Legs
04. Just A Beautiful Day
05. I Don’t Care
06. You Wear Me Down
07. Type Of Girl
08. Always Away
09. Conceited
10. Don’t Do This
11. The Masochist
12. I Believed In God
13. I Believed In God (Reprise)

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