By Carl Begai
With each Danko Jones release it’s not an issue of whether the new album is point blank good or bad, but rather how well it stacks up against its predecessors. Like KISS, AC/DC or Motörhead, Danko Jones have made a career of avoiding the use of rocket science in favour of the keep-it-simple-stupid vocals / guitars / bass / drums formula, and new (seventh) record Fire Music continues this tradition. While some folks may chafe at the idea of the Canuck trio being mentioned in the same line as rock / metal royalty, there’s no escaping the fact frontman Danko, bassist JC, and the latest drummer of choice (Rich Knox, please stick around) have earned their longevity rather than living off of YouTube views and Facebook likes padded by Beliebers.
It’s gotta be said that lead-off track ‘Wild Woman’ is standard fare for any Danko Jones release; no great shakes on the one hand but a smart move easing the fans into Fire Music as all bets are off from track #2 onwards. Frontman Jones has gone on record stating that a several songs on the album were inspired / influenced by the Misfits, and it most certainly shows. ‘The Twisting Knife’ followed in rapid succession by ‘Gonna Be A Fight Tonight’ and ‘Body Bags’ amount to almost 10 minutes of punk energy gift-wrapped in singalong attitude, echoed later on the album with equally speed-crazed ‘Piranha’ and ‘Watch You Slide’.
Breaking up the potential monotony of no-brakes punk record are the classic mid-tempo Danko Jones tune ‘Live Forever’ and one of the band’s most adventurous songs to date, ‘Do You Wanna Rock’ (you’re getting more cowbell than you know what to do with). ‘Getting Into Drugs’ is the KISS-flavoured follow-up to ‘Legs’ from Rock And Roll In Black And Blue (2012), and rock love ditty ‘I Will Break Your Heart’ – far too strong to be dubbed a mere ballad – features a brilliant ’50s / ’60s blues groove beneath the walls of distortion. And, in what seems to be another Danko Jones tradition, Fire Music closes with the (I sense a trend here) speed-heavy epic ‘She Ain’t Coming Home’ – the longest song on the album at 4:01 – which features a full-on tip of the hat to Danko’s love for metal with a twin / harmonized Iron Maiden / Judas Priest solo break.
At its core Fire Music is the unexpectedly pissed off younger brother of Below The Belt (2010), the obnoxious wingman to Sleep Is The Enemy (2006), and easily occupying a Top 3 Best Of… list in Danko Jones’ dust free catalogue.
Fire Music tracklisting:
‘The Twisting Knife’
‘Gonna Be A Fight Tonight’
‘Do You Wanna Rock’
‘Getting Into Drugs’
‘Watch You Slide’
‘I Will Break Your Heart’
‘She Ain’t Coming Home’
Check out two new songs from Fire Music via the links below: