Sometimes you just need straight up rock and roll. The simplicity of a cranked up amp, overdrive crackling to crisp distortion, a clear and sometimes fuzzy bass, straight forward drums with plenty of hi-hat and cowbell, it’s the tried and tested method and it works every time. It might not be complex or atmospheric, it doesn’t have to be, it simply needs that groove or hook and the rest takes care of itself.
The self-titled Danko Jones band consisting of Jones (vocals/guitar), J.C (bass) and Rich Knox (drums) are back once again with their hard hitting brand of rock and roll and like with all their previous releases, it’s a straight forward and catchy as hell! “A Rock Supreme” follows on from the superb 2017 release “Wildcat” which is still on my iPod, a testament to its longevity and infectiousness. Let’s see if this rock is supreme or if Danko is just clutching at straws.
“I’m In A Band” opens the release and from the initial lyrical offerings, it’s pretty much a mission statement – all Danko wants to do is play his guitar and make some noise. The song screams about the rock and roll lifestyle and it does fit one of the usual themes of Danko’s music, and it also sounds exactly like you would expect something from Danko to sound like. Crisp and punchy chords, simplistic and melodic leads and plenty of memorable, melodic hooks all capped with some attitude packed vocals with plenty of character behind them.
Lead single “Dance Dance Dance” has a bright sound and plenty of energy behind its delivery. The simple and memorable chorus will no doubt work well in a live setting and the punchy rhythm and sound and the rhythmic flow of the lyrics combined with the bass and drums just makes the whole thing click together rather nicely. Foot stompin’ “Lipstick City” follows on and it’s arguably the best track of the release. The stomp rock and roll vibes combined with the crunchy sound and simple but massive vocal hook driven chorus will be one of those ear worm tracks which will be hard to escape once you hear it. Short and sharp chord stabs in the verse delivered with that Malcolm Young style bite give way to faster and more aggressive walls of guitar in the chorus, backing up the call and response vocal dynamics between Danko and J.C and the rare guitar solo spot is executed well (for a man who mostly deals in ‘mean power chords’!)
The remaining tracks near enough follow in the same vein. Fast paced with plenty of bite and attitude or slightly slower and more rhythm and groove oriented rockers. It’s just typical Danko Jones really, but what else would you expect from this trio? With a sound forged by influences like KISS and AC/DC, sharing the stage with bands from Nashville Pussy and Sepultura to opening for The Rolling Stones on their “40 Licks” tour. It’s still a far cry from heavy metal in how it sounds, but it certainly has all the attitude needed to make the infectious brand of hard rock sound instantly recognisable and well delivered.
In all, whilst it falls slightly short compared to ‘Wildcat’ and ‘Fire Music’, it still packs the same punch, it is still loaded with the same raw rock and roll spirit and it still has the ability to make you hum a few bars of the tracks without consciously realising you are doing so.
Lipstick City, lets go! Go! Go! Go!