Album Reviews

Danko Jones – Never Too Loud

(Bad Taste) UK release date: 12 January 2009

Danko Jones - Never Too Loud Knocking around since the ’90s, Danko Jones‘ star has never really swollen to the point of bursting. But for those in the know this band, formed in the likeness of Mr Jones himself, have been providing kicks for years.

If you’re not up to speed, then this Canadian three-piece tread the line between punk and metal with reasonable aplomb. Much like Motörhead with fewer warts and better production, Danko Jones are more than capable of knocking out pure visceral thrills if you try not to think about it all too much.

Kicking things off with Code Of The Road, Danko Jones go straight for the jugular with an incessant guitar-line that is less of a riff and more of a relentless pounding. If the production is too neat (as it is on most of the album) then it pays to try and ignore this niggling factor and try to imagine the band hurtling along on shimmering Harleys with Jack Daniels and piss dripping from their well worn leathers. That’s the kind of rock that Danko Jones are closest to, and throughout the album you’ll catch snatches of Thin Lizzy, AC/DC and Aerosmith. There’s even a cowbell gracing the anthemic City Streets, but the world can never have enough cowbell.

Still In High School is another classic rocker which somehow manages to sound like some kind of a retarded version of Mclusky. It’s been a while since we’ve heard anyone admit to checking out tits, or stating that they’re a leg and ass man, but according to DJ they’re still in high school so that makes it alright, doesn’t it? Whatever, there’s little doubting that it ticks the box that says “playful misogyny”, which is of course obligatory on any album that has leanings towards classic rock.

Take Me Home is a stomping acoustic paean to life as a band on the road, and to be fair, it’s not half bad. If they were looking to write something approaching a stadium ballad then mission accomplished.

Lets Get Undressed leans more heavily on DJ’s punk influences with a vocal melody pinched straight from Sonic Youth‘s Dirty Boots, but to be honest that’s about the only thing that makes it in the slightest bit interesting.

Forest for the Trees is probably the standout track on the album. Something of an epic for Danko Jones, it weighs in at over six minutes, and heads back in time to pillage the vaults of Black Sabbath before tracing the lineage of stoner rock to the present day by including vocals from Pete Stahl (Wool, Scream and Goatsnake) and John Garcia (Kyuss). A blissful romp through a slow grinding and melodic slab of riffage Forest for the Trees makes this an album worth checking out on its own.

Sadly, the glorious mellow mood is soon broken as the band head back to slightly more raucous fare. Having played their hand so brilliantly with Forest For The Trees it all feels like nothing less than disappointment. The worst moment comes on final track Never Too Loud, which some unknown reason starts off like a cover of Bon Jovi‘s Bad Medicine. It’s practically impossible to take this sincere love letter to the joys of rock seriously after that. In the case of this track, if you can hear it at all, then it probably is too loud.

Danko Jones then. Provider of cheap thrills, cheap pills, and the odd one night knee trembler (if your tits, ass, and legs fit the bill). This is an album that will never last the ages, but for a bit of a quick fumble for fun, you can’t go far wrong.

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More on Danko Jones
Danko Jones – Never Too Loud
Danko Jones – Sleep Is The Enemy
Danko Jones: “I’m not interested in being home, I wanna postpone that as long as I can” – Interview
Danko Jones @ Islington Academy, London
Danko Jones – We Sweat Blood