Sleazy unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll

Something must not have translated properly, or perhaps it’s because previous studio album Never Too Loud took close to two years to receive proper distribution in Australia, but it’s nigh on inexplicable why a more widespread audience hasn’t yet cottoned on to Canada’s Danko Jones.

The trio’s sleazy (yet clean and accessible enough to potentially attract the more fickle masses), unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll should be ruling arenas throughout the world, rather than preaching to the converted in clubs.

Regardless, their dedication to the craft of hook-laced hard rock is admirable and their execution even better. Thunderous opener “I Think Bad Thoughts” sets the pace for the remaining 35 minutes; all sex-driven swagger, more contagious than swine flu vocal hooks and a great deal of Thin Lizzy and AC/DC-inspired riffage. A fraction of the grit lost on previous album Never Too Loud has been reclaimed, as Jones and company spend much time dissecting girls, girls and more girls. The brazen lyrics can veer towards cheese, but aren’t to be taken entirely seriously; “Magic Snake” exhibits a mock fascination with one’s own genitalia that even David Coverdale would approve of. On the musical front, the bouncy power-pop of “Active Volcanoes” borrows liberally from Kiss, while the choruses of “(I Can’t Handle) Moderation” and “Had Enough” pack a sizeable punch. The closing refrain of “I Wanna Break Up With You” is also ideal for arena rock interaction. Following in the path of AC/DC, there are no ballads to be found either.

To paraphrase the tagline of a now defunct Australian metal band, there’s no bullshit with Danko Jones – they just play. Not quite on par with Airbourne within the so-called “retro-rock” movement, but this album still hits as hard as a shot, ahem… below the belt.

1. I Think Bad Thoughts
2. Active Volcanoes
3. Tonight Is Fine
4. Magic Snake
5. Had Enough
6. I Can’t Handle) Moderation
7. Full Of Regret
8. The Sore Loser
9. Like Dynamite
10. Apology Accepted
11. I Wanna Break Up With You