Thursday, October 11, 2012

Black, Blue and In Your Face

Having just surpassed the 15 year mark as a band, the 6th album of Toronto hard rock lifers Danko Jones feels different from previous albums. This may not be a shocking statement for many bands, but for DJ who have been pumping out in-your-face, sassy hard rock songs for years, it is something to note when I listen to this album and almost feel like I'm listening to a different band (almost).

Rock and Roll is Black and Blue feels like this band has finally grown up. After years of singing beer swilling, panty-removing, boyfriend cheating, sexifying, over-the-top hard rock, the general vibe of this album comes across as being so much more genuine. Don't get me wrong, it still feels quintessentially Danko, however, it feels less tongue-in-cheek and more true to the band. The album comes off much less as an act (granted, I loved that act for over a decade) and feels like for the first time, Mr. Jones is trying to wear at least a small piece of his heart on that black-leather sleeve.

Now, of course the disc is still full of enough riffs to take down a charging rhinoceros in heat and particularly on tracks such as Conceited, Just a Beautiful Day and Terrified you can hear the blood & sweat coming through your speakers. However, the album takes on a different feel through tracks such as You Wear Me Down, Don't Do This and Legs, when the band's blues influences start to shine through and the spirits of AC/DC are invoked for anthemic, slow burns.

All-in, this album is not what you may expect when buying a Danko album, however, it is still a pleasant surprise for anyone who considers themselves a believer in rock n roll.

-Nothing like I expected but everything I had hoped